SYML treats Scala to a night of uplifting, unadulterated enjoyment
For Brian Fennell – aka SYML – music is a way to talk about feelings that he otherwise struggles to express. Themes such as loss and illness appear to take centre stage in his lyrics, yet during his intimately live performance at Scala last night, there was a distinct atmosphere of hope.
Perhaps in dedication to all those for whom the song means so much, acoustic ballad Girl was introspectively delivered alone by Fennell. Continuing with the ethereal Meant to Stay Hid and Bed, set in front of heavy blue lights, the singer created a distinctly uplifting atmosphere in a showcase of his superb vocal range. SYML’s potent combination of emotionally charged vocals and poignant instrumentals were an excellently executed highlight in the artist’s long setlist, performed in a way that was seemingly cathartic for both musician and audience.
Sprinkled within these ballads were songs such as The Bird from the latest, self-titled album. The unique blend of synthy beats and hymn-like vocals made this track a pleasure to hear live, immediately transfixing the audience into quiet.
As Fennell prepared to launch into indie-rock anthem Break Free, he smiled and encouraged the audience to break the chains of English civility and move to the music. SYML is as much a charismatic and amusing performer as he is a brilliant musician. The request was greeted with some committed toe-tapping and head bobbing, a staple of indie live music. With songs Animal and Clean Eyes, the artist showcased his brilliantly eclectic range and an ability to negotiate style and genre with ease.
Rounding out the last night of the UK tour with a fan favourite, the singer crooned a wistful cover of Mr Sandman by the Chordettes from the side of the stage. With each song SYML resonated with his devoted audience, offering a deeply evocative performance with sincere passion and unadulterated enjoyment.
Photos: Mike Garnell
For further information and future events visit SYML’s website here.
Watch the video for Mr Sandman here: