Liam Bailey at Oslo Hackney
An excitable crowd flooded the intimate upper room at Hackney’s Oslo on Saturday night to enjoy Liam Bailey’s brand of laid-back blues and soul.
The Nottingham-born singer is most well known for Blind Faith, his 2011 collaboration with London-based duo Chase & Status, but he has plenty to offer as a solo artist, releasing his record Definitely Now in 2014, full of catchy blues and rock and roll, helping him to win a dedicated fan-base of his own.
Emerging with his musicians to play some of the louder, more upbeat material from the album, the small but energetic crowd were soon dancing along happily to Bailey’s infectious blues. A few songs in and the band were ushered away in order for the singer to play a stripped-back acoustic segment that really allowed him to showcase his soulful, husky voice and mesmerised the audience.
Here we were treated to heartfelt performances of gems from Definitely Now such as Summer Rain, Stun Me and the lyrically captivating Battle Hymn of Central London, all demonstrating Bailey’s standout voice and captivating songwriting.
Although a quieter acoustic set can be a gamble in a bar venue on a Saturday night, it seemed the audience was, for the most part, entirely spellbound by the singer’s performance, with only a few chattier members of the crowd having to be told to quieten down as Bailey joked, “I’m trying to share my soul with you here”. It certainly seemed that way as the band returned to the stage for an emotional rendition of When Will They Learn and an uplifting performance of Love My Neighbour, a song described as “a message of hope and healing dedicated to a broken world”, which certainly seemed timely in an interesting week for global politics.
Overall, the show was strong from start to finish. The combination of his acoustic set and songs performed with his full band really allowed Bailey to show off his voice and the flexibility of his style, melding many different musical genres with ease to create something familiar but unique.
For further information about Liam Bailey and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Love My Neighbour here: