Kiefer Sutherland at Shepherd’s Bush Empire
A bedside table, complete with lamp, rug and warm lights, makes for a snug, almost homey, stage. Kiefer Sutherland doesn’t waste a single minute as his entrance is marked by the guitar vibrations of Ole’ Lonely Life. This is a very welcome return (comfortable even, looking at the aforementioned props) for the singer, the tour a hug to his fans who have awaited each other for over two years. The pandemic’s duration has, however, been fruitful, as Sutherland worked on many songs that eventually became part of his latest album, Bloor Street. The Shepherd’s Bush Empire setlist brings together oldies, new singles and a couple of covers for a fun, foot-stomping evening.
The smooth ballad Chasing the Rain is among the latest songs produced. Sutherland doesn’t waste any time talking; he entertains with the power of his voice, the movement of his instrument and jubilant hopping on his dandy leather shoes. He occasionally drops some anecdotes between acts – like his taste for a good drink. Leaving an American bar earlier than closing time, indeed, inspired Going Home, while Reckless and Me was born out of driving from one rodeo to another, narrating the story of a boy and a horse. Pumping energy and brisk rhythm run through Something You Love, a buoyant booster of more pop tunes. It’s then down to serious country-folk notes as Sutherland masters a passionate rendition of Patty Loveless’s Blame It on Your Heart.
The past two years have touched the artist in a particular way: like everyone, he would hear the sad and horrible news coming through, yet the circumstances around him made him feel even more grateful for each day, for the people around him and for the flame that ignited his career, leading to this emotional and exuberant performance. Out of this sentiment, one morning, he wrote So Full of Love, one of the most upbeat numbers of the night.
This is How It’s Done, tracing the head-spinning, exhilarating first experience at a bar for 15-year-old Sutherland, is an exciting balance of pulse, swing and guitar, whereas Down in a Hole sends listeners through a deep maze of rough vocals and outbursts of sequences, with a standout moment for the drummer who performed a solo under the spotlight. The concert closes with Sutherland, free of his loyal musical instrument, leading the audience into a sinuous Agave. It has been a peppy, country-filled night.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Kiefer Sutherland’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Chasing the Rain here: