Curtis Harding at Electric Brixton
From standout tracks taken from last year’s masterpiece of an album, If Words Were Flowers, to highlights from his early work that – even at the release of 2014’s immediately classic solo debut Soul Power – captured the undivided attention of critics and fans alike, Curtis Harding dazzled on-stage at the Electric last night, imbuing tracks old and new with a limitless energy and a style of artistry that really needs only a microphone to fill stadiums.
Harding and his band were on immaculate, rare form. Each note, pause, transition – they were all faultless, as if effortless, carrying the audience through the opening grooves of If Words Were Flowers and the uplifting, lyrically intricate Hopeful, via the gentle chorus and luxurious horns of I Won’t Let You Down (all to be found on his newest record). Everything, from the irresistible guitar riff of Can’t Hide It to the at this point quasi-mythical bassline of Need Your Love to the singer’s gorgeous vocals, has been rehearsed to perfection, both talent and professionalism present on stage in equally remarkable measure.
This may well be the last chance to see the exceptional Harding play a smaller, intimate venue, so it’s not too bold a statement to class this tour under the heading of “unmissable” – the crowd at the Electric was beyond fortunate to share in the work of a uniquely magical artist, completely at home on any stage, backed by a band as instinctively cohesive as those who played under the direction of James Brown or Prince. And there’s really no exaggeration in making those comparisons, though perhaps it’s a stylistic shortcut – but this is the kind of timeless musicianship that will always be genuinely difficult to put into words. It’s as if they just couldn’t miss a note if they tried.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Curtis Harding’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Need Your Love here: