Andy Burrows and Jamie Lawson at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire
This week’s double act at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire provided an interesting pairing for acoustic fans. First, Andy Burrows arrived on stage. The ex-Razorlight drummer performed a mix of pieces from his repertoire as a solo artist, including tracks from his new album Reasons to Stay Alive.
Company was among the standout compositions for its vibrant strings element: sweet and melodic, the strong contrabass and the second male voice accompanying Burrows created a unique feel. From the musician’s latest record, Story distinguished itself through its serenade-style lyrics, thanks especially to author Matt Haig, and through the slow pace – with a pinch of country. Another pleasant moment was Light of Night, featuring excellent pizzicato on the banjo, with Burrows’s voice in the high register. The closing treat, though, was Barcelona, fed with more energy by the second supporting guitar.
The main act, Jamie Lawson, started soon after. Mostly known by a wider audience for being the first songwriter to be signed off by Ed Sheeran’s record company Gingerbread Man Records, the British artist has now released a second album. With The Years in Between, the singer doesn’t drift far away from his main soft pop/nostalgic track, but he has started experimenting slightly with vocal variations, and the results sound pretty good.
Dance in the Dark opened the singer’s sequence: a nice drumbeat, a light soulful mood and the predominance of romantic themes are the most easily traceable characteristics across the rest of Lawson’s production. Singular proof of his songwriting skills was provided through Miracle of Love, and in Second Hand Hallelujah the chords travelled down the scale.
Almost halfway through the gig, what the setlist was clearly missing was a track with a longer space for instrumentals. This wish was pretty much fulfilled with the product of a collaboration with Ed Sheeran, Can’t See Straight. A truly enjoyable co-production, though, was Where Have All the Good Vibrations Gone?, written together with Turin Brakes. The duo, who performed live on the night, brought pleasing pop tunes and a nicely flowing groove.
Still Yours took its time to build up, but the rhythmic acoustic finale was worth waiting for. Ahead of Myself earnt extra points thanks to the participation of the audience, who Lawson instructed to join in for the chorus, ending the concert on a very playful, feel-good note.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Jamie Lawson’s website here.
Watch the video for Where Have All the Good Vibrations Gone here: