Amos Lee

He didn’t get us tickets for Norah Jones, and we had to pay six quid to see him at Matt and Phreds last night. But I’m not bitter, because, frankly, for the calibre of performer he is, six quid is a bargain.

Last night’s gig was a solo effort – just Amos, his guitar and the audience, the soulful, jazzy vibe of his recorded work giving way to a much more intimate, folky, bluesy feel without the backing of a full band. Comparisons to the new breed of jazz singers like Jamie Cullum and Norah Jones are almost inevitable (especially given his current stint on tour supporting the latter), but his sound leans much more towards the soul/blues end of the spectrum than those, with clear folk influences as well – Bob Dylan sits comfortably alongside Stevie Wonder and Al Green in his record collection.

On stage, he came across as nervous and somewhat shy, with a dry, self-deprecating (and on occasion, ever so slightly silly) sense of humour – but, at the same time, he played and sang with an effortless confidence and profiency which belied his quiet and reserved character: there was clearly no planned setlist for the gig, and he was happy to play whatever he felt fitted with the way the evening was going – whilst often unashamedly melancholy, he never strayed into self-indulgence, and he carried the audience with him wherever he decided to go.

It’s a shame, therefore, that the next time we see Lee in this country, he will almost certainly be playing to larger crowds in larger venues, where it will be much harder to achieve the level of intimacy and connection we saw at last night’s performance – as he said at one point in the evening, you can objectify a large audience as a single entity, but when you’re playing to a smaller crowd, you can see them as individuals, and you have to try and make that connection with each and every one of them – and it was that connection that made last night such a fantastic experience.

If you get the chance, therefore, to catch him on his brief solo tour of England, I recommend you make every effort to do so – if last night is anything to go by, it will be a night to remember. A full list of tour dates is available here.

One Response to “Amos Lee”

  1. Lyle says:

    *Tut* Two therefores in two paragraphs.

    Disgraceful… :¬)