Friday, 13 September 2013

LIVE: Keaton Henson

Keaton Henson is probably one of the most adorable people in the world of music at the moment. He suffers from fairly major anxiety, and so last night playing in front of 1,000 people at The Emmanuel Centre in London must be one of his worst nightmares. In his tradition of not playing mainstream venues, earlier in the year he did a tour of museums, tonight's venue is a gorgeous church with the most perfect tiered seating as so to offer a view to every member of this evening's crowd. Who are as diverse a bunch as you'll find. Many still have work attire and briefcases, whilst others look more suited to a One Direction concert. Either way, when there's more glasses of wine than any other beverage you know you're in classy company.

Starting off with his string quartet's slow build, Henson walked in to a huge round of applause - maybe not the best way to greet a man who sings that "the crowds unsettle me" but it set the tone for the evening nonetheless. Between songs you can tell the man's incredibly uncomfortable, taking sips of water, deep breaths and pushing his hair back into place, but the fact that when he starts playing everything that resonates from him is perfect is a testament to him. "Thank you all for coming... This is fucking terrifying" he exclaims a few songs in, as well as "Shh... You'll frighten the quartet". He's not a man without humour, and many of his words between songs bring some light relief to an intense hour of music.

Of course everybody came for the heartbreaking melodies, combined with anguish-fuelled lyrics - and they might wish they hadn't because it was absolutely perfect. Keaton's naturally soft voice, combined with the atmosphere within the room created something magical. Closing with 'You' before leaving to a standing ovation. Luckily he came back to play his cover of 'You Were Always On My Mind'.

There's no doubt that the sky's the limit for Mr Henson, it really just depends how high he wants to go.

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