Last night I saw my first show of the year, and what a great bunch of people and display of live music to be my first! It was the first of Fred Abbott's (ex Noah & The Whale lead guitarist and keys player) three show residency at The Forge in Camden, which continues on the 21st and 28th of January.
First up as support act was Hollie Stephenson who was pretty captivating with just her vocals and an accompanying pianist, she's supporting at the other two shows too - with drums and bass on those shows. Second to play, and bringing the vibe up sharply was Tom Figgins, who I've been aware of for a few years but has been getting some Radio 2 airplay (including a cracking session on Richard Madeley's show last Sunday!) I saw him live a few times last year and hope everything continues to go well for him as he certainly deserves it, and last nights full band performance was superb, and finished off beautifully by a cover of David Bowie's Heroes.
Up next was Fred, joined by his band and kicking off the set as they meant to go on with the guitar solo intro to Learn About Love, a track from his solo record Serious Poke which was released last July. Taking the crowd through most of the record including it's two two singles, Adrenaline Shot and Funny How Good It Feels, we were having as much fun as the band themselves. Fred's Noah bandmate (and easily one of the most talented musicians I've met), Tom Hobden, joined Fred and his band for a few tracks, first playing with them for Awake - easily my favourite from Fred's album, a highlight of which, for me, is Tom's string solo (listen below) so to see them play it live together was a treat! Tom stayed with the band for a couple more songs including a cover of Bruce Springsteen's Atlantic City which featured a beautiful violin solo, after which the audience demanded an encore - "You asked for it!" Fred mocked as he walked back onto the stage. A brilliant night was had by all - will definitely be trying to get along to the show on the 28th as I'll be back in Oxford by then and it'll be easier for me to get to London.
You can catch Fred Abbott at The Forge in Camden on the 21st and 28th of January, tickets for those shows are here, Hollie Stephenson supports at both dates, with Moxie Kicks and The Villainy supporting at the two dates respectively!