Ollie Wride at Scala
Ollie Wride is a versatile pop musician: he sings, composes and, most importantly, entertains his audience. Well-known for his collaborative hits with FM-84, Wride has become a recognised figure both in the UK and the US. And he adores London, so maybe this is why he decided to, ironically, finish his American tour in the British capital.
Somewhere in the middle of his exuberant gig, Wride mentioned that he had nearly cancelled his concert due to the loss of his voice. Recovery after two days of flu felt almost impossible for Wride, but “with the help of his parents,” he somehow was there, as good as new, standing at the Scala.
Giving this context is somewhat important, because Wride’s vocals sounded more powerful than ever, indicating he has never been in such form. Throughout the concert, the singer and his band became one collective force, performing with such fierceness. Wride did not forget about some of his oldies that “made him” but he also presented some new compositions (including unreleased and captivating Wish You Well) from his upcoming record. As they say, it was a night to remember.
Wride knows how to set a concert’s tone early. The band enlivened the audience with the euphoric, Killers-esque song A Matter of Time, which was immediately followed by a synth-pop Wild Ones, a track reminding us of the 1980s summer radio hits. Both tunes made a blithe connection between Wride and the audience, which was tangible for the rest of the show. One cannot forget the lively romantic anthem, Never Live Without You, another dynamite track from the musician’s repertoire, which suddenly became a pretext for more spontaneous interaction with the audience.
Before changing the music direction, Wride’s band played one of his newest compositions, another vibrant song, The Way I See It. The order of tracks was intentional, at first setting a rather light-hearted and frivolous mood, while later proposing some intimate interpretations. For instance, Wride did some subtle piano singing of Don’t Want to Change Your Mind, when he became modern reminiscent of Freddie Mercury.
Ultimately, Stranger Love and Juliette were highlights of the night at Scala because of their joyous and powerful energies. The encore also proved that the band was willing to stay with its audience for the whole evening, but they knew the venue’s management wouldn’t let that happen. “These songs ain’t easy to play,” Wride shouted while ending his performance. Yet, at least they are easy to listen to: during his Sunday concert, Wride made us forget that Monday morning is just around the corner.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Ollie Wride’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Victoria here: