There seems to be a mini revival of retro-sounding soul music. A revival of that dramatic, grand, distinguished soul music; spearheaded and pioneered by Donny Hathaway, Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. A new generation of artists appear to have taken the mantle and run with it. Making music that is actually worth something in the face of radio playlists obsessed with excessive consumerism and sex in its kinkiest forms.
Michael Kiwanuka is at the forefront of this revival. His debut single, Tell Me A Tale, was an epic soul record, full of power and purpose, flutes fluttering and forceful string biting their way in, all encased underneath his powerfully soothing voice. It sounded like it could have been picked from Marvin Gaye’s 1974 songbook.
This meant my expectations for his small set at The Old Queens Head were unfairly high, they were stellar in fact. The amazing thing is he met each and every one. Playing with just his out of tune guitar, Michael was enthralling. He captured the hearts, imaginations and spirits of every single person in the packed venue, which looked as antique and vintage as the music from Michael and his guitar. The show was an absolute pleasure to hear so the thought of him playing with a full band has me beyond salivating.
This date is fast approaching. He plays Bush Hall on Wednesday 21st September. Tickets are an absolute bargain at £11 (incl. booking fee). Seriously, he should take a collection up or something because I feel like I am getting away like a bandit! Tickets are are available from Seetickets (here).
Some snaps from his show at The Old Queens Head below. Really, really, really looking forward to this one.