Powfu at O2 Academy Islington
If there is any evidence at all to prove that TikTok is running the music industry these days, it would be Powfu’s set at the O2 Academy in Islington last night. On only his second-ever tour, and first time in Europe and the United Kingdom, dedicated fans have sold out nearly every show.
The Canadian artist rose to fame in 2020 when single death bed (coffee for your head) ft. Beebadoobee went viral on TikTok. His eclectic blend of melancholy lyrics and lo-fi beats has reached fans across the globe, with tracks hitting the top charts in Canada, the UK, America and Australia. Passers-by in Islington were witness to this success on Tuesday night as fans lined up all the way to the high street. Inside, the merch desk was flooded and attendees hustled about the venue eager to secure a prime spot for the gig.
Along the horizon of the crowd, a sea of phone cameras rose waiting to capture Powfu’s entrance on stage. Keeping on theme with the title of his upcoming album Gathered by the Lantern, the stage was decorated with lanterns that flashed purple and white. Vibes were high as the band jammed out on stage – suddenly the instruments cut, a gentle melody played, and out of the smoky haze, carrying his own lantern to light the way, Powfu entered the stage and kicked off the show with im used to it, a track from his 2020 EP Poems of the Past. A perfect way to set the tone for the night, the crowd swayed to and fro, gently headbanging to and singing along to every word.
Hyping up fans with some bigger hits such as I Can’t Sleep, Powfu then made an effort to create a real sense of community amongst the audience, stating we are all “One big happy family”. Encouraging a big game of rock, paper, scissors and to come together on the slower songs and sway was a wholesome turn of events. It made for a fun night where people moshed and got wild at points, yet also looked after each other.
Powfu’s work is sprinkled with an array of talented collaborators. A highlight of the set was when support act and close friend Cody Lawless came on stage to perform walk on wine. The blend of the artists’ styles creates an undeniably groovy track that had the whole venue abuzz.
The evening was finished off with a show-stopping, punk rock cover of Mine by Taylor Swift, inducing a raging mosh pit and some super emotional and passionate chanting from the crowd – it was a surprising yet welcome twist to close the gig.
Hard-hitting tracks, contrasted by a wholesome and uplifting atmosphere, topped off with some surprise covers and new songs, made for an overall great debut show in London for Powfu and his dedicated fans.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Powfu’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Walk on Wine here: