Glenn Lewis @AestheticSounds, London | Live Review


Canadian soul powerhouse Glenn Lewis hit our shores on a snowy December evening, making a welcome return and I was in attendance to witness the proceedings. After a host of support acts including Sarah Fonteynge, Nadine Charles and Lizzie Nightingale, Glenn Lewis walked on to the stage and opened with fan favourite ‘Storm’ setting the mood and tone for the night.

Dressed in a white shirt, white tie and pink sweater with a beanie, Glenn Lewis was amongst one the most relaxed performers I have seen this year, interacting with the crowd between songs and directing his attention towards the females during songs, Lewis made the them laugh and scream in equal measures.

Lewis got into full swing and delivered us some of the finest songs from his classic album World Outside My Window. ‘Lonely’, ‘Its Not Fair’ and ‘Never Too Late’ all gladly made the setlist. Glenn Lewis also gave us a few songs from his unreleased album Back For More, including the title track, which got some bodies moving and ‘Fall Again,’ which featured in the Maid In Manhattan soundtrack and was originally penned by Walter Afanasieff and Robin Thicke for Michael Jackson.

The standout performance was by far the Marsha Ambrosius penned ‘This Love.’ There’s something about the way the song is written and in turn interpreted by Lewis that is magical. The anguish and despair, combined with the honesty and logic in a seemingly irrational mindframe, which builds to a climax in the bridge, brought to life through Glenn’s fine vocal range and dexterity, is phenomenal on record. As a collective, the crowd were blessed to witness this firsthand live.

Glenn’s voice was breathtaking throughout the night and he easily opened up and sang in full voice where others would sing falsetto. He also didn’t miss a note. It was magical to see and hear someone actually sing in the age of auto tune and studio vocal trickery.

Although there are always comparisons made to Stevie Wonder (and this, I’m sure, is not a bad thing), Glenn Lewis’ note selection in his runs and ad-libs is very much his own, and over the years he has done well to separate himself from this comparison by displaying his own style. In all honesty, some of that Stevie still creeps in though!

Glenn Lewis closed with ‘Don’t You Forget It’ and in an ode to Stevie Wonder, the riff from ‘Living For The City’ was played as he walked off stage.

No encore was granted and overall I felt the set was a little short. As Glenn had no obvious touring band with him, some of the numbers came across slightly unrehearsed and I found the backing singers seemed to be a little disengaged from the performance. Bad points aside, it was great to see that Glenn Lewis is touring again and loves us enough to come to these shores.

It’s also promising to hear talks of a new album, to be released in early 2011, a song of which, ‘Good One,’ has already been previewed on SoulCulture and sees him working with Dre and Vidal once again.

The signs are positive for all Glenn Lewis fans and I hope (as a fan) to see and hear much more from him!

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