Review by Lily Carr-Gomm
I think it’s important that I start with a disclaimer - I adore Tom Misch so from the get-go there’s going to be a bit of bias running through this review. Now I’ll try and be as professional as I can and write the review purely based on the performance, leaving out any prior conceptions about him but it could prove tricky.
I like to think of Tom Misch as the Wizard of Oz… maybe not as annoying and whiney but rather in the way in which he himself is slightly magical and orchestrates such (musical) brilliance. Now, this analogy came to me half way through his gig and retrospectively doesn’t really work quite as well as I hoped it would as the Wizard of Oz is of course a huge phoney and not at all magical. Rather, lets frame him as some genius director, and a very involved director at that. Oozing magnificent music out of every pore, Misch has worked with a glorious assortment of artists from rising (risen) UK stars such as Zak Abel and Loyle Carner to the legendary De La Soul. Having found fame via millions of plays on Soundcloud and Bandcamp, he has racked up a super loyal fan base and sold out two nights at Camden’s Roundhouse whilst not even having released his first album.
Kicking off the show, his opening instrumental track entitled ‘The Journey’ grabbed everyone’s attention, with most of the audience feebly trying to ‘sing’ along to the instruments’ melodies. Whilst there were murmurs of chatter throughout the slower, quieter songs they were completely drawn back when a brief cover of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ began, played between Misch and fellow band member Tobie Tripp. Other more up-tempo tunes such as ‘Man Like You’ and ‘South of the River’, an ode to Misch’s home in South London, really grabbed the audience’s attention and evoked a crowd singalong… definitely one of the highlights of the night.
It really was a family affair, having his sister Laura Misch open for him and later herself and his other sister, Polly, coming out for some beautiful, supportive backing vocals. The amount of talent running through the Misch family’s bones is enough to make even the most reasonable of men envious. You almost feel like a proud parent watching your tribe of kids jam out together on stage. Another massively successful element of the show was the stunning stage design and lighting. The simplicity of the mirrored silhouettes on the backdrop, replicating his upcoming album art for ‘Geography’ which were illuminated with different lighting effects throughout the night really helped to set the tone and show such a beautiful venue in it’s best light (pardon the pun).
Here is where my ‘Wizard of Oz’ analogy comes in, (rather poorly) - his special guests. Misch’s entourage of talented artists supporting him on his tracks were really highlighted, with the likes of Poppy Ajudha, Barney Artist and Zak Abel gracing the stage, with the loudest of cheers being reserved for close friend and frequent collaborator, Mr. Loyle Carner. The immensely talented Brit and Mercury-nominated artist appeared at the close to feature on ‘Water Baby’, a new release from Misch, and ‘Crazy Dream' which proved to be a crowd favourite.
Throughout the set his humility and lack of pretentiousness was extremely tangible and I must say hugely appealing.Whilst headlining one out of two sold out nights at this legendary venue he had all the skill and temperament of a masterfully refined jazz musician playing to just ten people in a sleepy cafe, making it all feel extremely intimate and personal. This lack of ego was so refreshing to see, making one feel able to grab him after the show, give him a big old hug and then go on for a congratulatory pint with him..
It Runs Through Me
Man Like You
You’re On My Mind
South Of The River
Isn’t She Lovely
Watch Me Dance