On Wednesday I was fortunate enough to attend a Joshua Radin show at Koko London in Camden. If you don’t know who he is you are missing out. He is a fabulously talented singer/song writer with the most beautiful mellow voice.
I have been wanting to see him live for several years and this year booked tickets without hesitation as soon as they were released.
As the date got nearer I found myself with a spare ticket and no one to go with, short of asking everyone on Facebook if they fancied it I had exhausted the options of those people I would like to have gone with. Due to him not being commonly known I didn’t want to go with anyone who wouldn’t have appreciated the experience and what an experience it was.
I accidentally got to the very front of the venue, I could only have been closer if I had a photographer pass! I had made sure I knew where the venue was earlier in the day and went off to explore Camden and the markets it has to offer, I thought I would head back in the direction of Koko and grab a bite to eat before doors opened. It never crossed my mind that people would arrive early and queue, so when I got close and wondered what people behind barriers was all about I soon realised it was keen gig goers trying to secure their place at the front, with that I joined the queue and ended up 10th in line, however it was only 5.15pm and doors didn’t open until 7pm.
My back and feet were already aching from all the walking and I had even had to buy some new shoes and post mine home as they just were not going to support my feet for another 8 hours. I was quite fed up by the time the doors opened and I wondered if the queueing was going to be worth it. Koko is a venue I hadn’t been to before and as the people in queue around me speculated the layout and where to head I wondered the same thing.
Upon entering I was surprised how big the club was and soon established there were a few floors of balconies to chose from or lower ground floor, I decided that whilst I wanted a great view that the currently empty balconies would provide I also wanted to get up close so headed down to the floor. I stepped of the last step and raced round the corner to see only a handful of people to my very pleasant surprise as I was unsure how many VIP tickets there were and if they would have a cordoned off area, which they didn’t. Before I knew it I was eyeing up a single space the barrier, instantly thinking ‘it’s a good job I am alone’ I filled the gap and the excitement rose as I realised I could only be 10ft away from where the mic was set up.
The support act Cary Brothers was a guy who turned out to be Joshua’s best friend and he was good, similar style and put on a good performance but with even him coming on stage half and hour late I was keen to get on with the show.
The suspense between Cary going off stage and Joshua coming on was huge and I even surprised myself with just how giddy I was when he came out, I could feel my beaming smile and knew it was going to be awesome.
I wasn’t disappointed! His voice was just so beautiful and he occasionally stepped away from the mic and hearing him raw and real was just brilliant. He spoke often and told tales that made the audience laugh, his stage present didn’t lack and it just added to the whole show. He explained how his latest album ‘Onward and Sideways’ was an accidental album which he wrote when penning his feelings for a love interest during a year off, when they were successful and he secure the girl the songs they became the album. To add even more passion and pizzazz to his performance he said that his girlfriend was somewhere in the crowd and my god could you tell. He sang everyone of his songs to her, I am sure he could actually see her too because a certain spot in the crowd kept his attention and the look in his eyes was pure love and happiness.
I felt really involved in the moment with this performance and just when I thought all my expectations had been exceeded and he could do no more he came back out with the most phenomenal acoustic encore. He was joined by Cary and his two backing vocalists and they all just stood in a group away from the mic and with their guitars unplugged. It was astounding and and absolute joy.
I have written this post because music truly is a powerful thing and to witness it live in this format is something I wanted to share, so although on the day I was perfectly content being alone I now want anyone and everyone to know what they missed.
If you haven’t heard of Joshua Radin, you have know, go and look him up and have listen. In the mean time I hope you enjoyed my photos and have a watch of this short snipped of that fantastic encore I mention.
Encore Video here!