Gaz Coombes at the Roundhouse
When Gaz Coombes comes to town, sit down and pay attention. The artist fills the stage at the Roundhouse on Thursday night, taking up the centre of the half-moon stage. Dressed in a classic, dark-toned style, his voice and personality are what shine on stage. The show begins with a drum machine beat loop, made on the spot, followed up by a folky rock guitar ballad. The mashing together of the singer-songwriter style and the industrial beats filled with gritty samples provides a decent amount of artistic creative merit. However, once the listener gets used to the interesting juxtaposition, the actual songs seem lacking. Even with a mixed style with so much potential, Coombes is only able to make songs like a cookie cutter.
Nonetheless, this is not to say that the music is not great. The show is tight, the performers are in sync, and the vocals by Coombes are on point the entire night. After beginning the show solo, Coombes brings out a drummer to play with; after a few songs a seven-person orchestra is brought out complete with harp and horn sections. These aspects add thoughtful harmonic layers, even with the extremely sonically dominant frontman.
The Roundhouse is a great space for a show with wonderful seating and views of the stage from many angles. During this show there was no room left for dancing, which is a shame as the audience want to groove, entranced by the singer’s croon.
Through it all, Gaz Coombes provides a quality night of entertainment. The band plays well as a group and the sound is cohesive and interesting. The inclusion of hard jungle beats with harp and violin sections is a pleasant combination, and the singer hits all his notes with emotional content. Vigorous on stage, he is able to get a London crowd out of their seats and dancing briefly. Not a small feat at all.
Photos: Guifré de Peray
For further information about Gaz Coombes and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Buffalo here: