Tokio Myers at the Forum
The Forum at Kentish Town is an interesting spot: a stylish art deco cinema reimagined as a contemporary music venue, where past chimes with present. This is the perfect stage for a young and vibrant performer like Tokio Myers, who takes the tension between musical styles and meshes them with a seriously big bang following the release of his debut album Our Generation – which he produced after winning Britain’s Got Talent last year.
The London-born pianist sits in a kind of musical playground, a set of cymbals, synths and drum machines gathered around the grand piano at centre stage. Though this is a lot for one person to take on, Myers moves around the setup energetically with the virtuosity of someone who is classically trained, but carrying the anger and grit of the real world – something that stands out with real rage and passion in Baltimore and Lotus Flower.
There is, without doubt, a symphonicity in the tracks, and the 34-year-old moves from extracts of Debussy to the Talking Heads with a compelling passion that you feel in the masterly and immersive relationship he shares with his instruments. Against the chaos of the electro soundscape, the piano crisply anchors the player’s diverse musical influences, centring the dreamlike compilations – where black and white are not just the colour of the keys, but sometimes represent the stark political climate.
Audiences are absolutely captivated by the musician. During soulful instrumental tracks like Polaroid or Pursuit of Happiness people were audibly shushing each other as they were swept away by the newcomer’s skill and sincerity. When the beats dropped away into the background, it was hardly surprising to see people grow tearful.
Myers is clearly an exciting artist who is not only able to move whole crowds but who enjoys his own craft immensely. The electricity of the live performance adds major value to the songs from Our Generation, and the Londoner ’s skill as a showman will keep spectators in his grip – so long as he carries on generating this same power.
Photos: Mike Garnell
For further information and future events visit Tokio Myers’s website here.
Watch the video for Polaroid here: