LIVE REVIEW: Daniel Merriweather in Birmingham

DanielMerriweather

Last night I got the chance to catch Aussie soul singer Danieal Merriweather during his multi-city tour in support of his debut album Love and War. I have already made my feelings known on the album, and I was eager to see what it would sound like live.

RoxBefore I get into a review of the show I just want to mention Daniel’s support act, London based singer Rox. I was semi-familiar with her work through her myspace page, and have been keeping up to date with the progress on her upcoming debut, so when it was announced she was supporting I was more than a little excited. I arrived just as Rox was finishing up her opening song and the buzz in the crowd suggested she had done well. She then went into the song I’m most familiar with, ‘Page Unfolds’. To say she killed it would be an understatement! The crowd were young, and so I expected them to not pay much attention to the non-headline acts (that seems to be what usually happens), however she had their full attention. She also sang ‘I Don’t Believe’, the fantastic ‘Rock Steady’ which would have been THE perfect summer soundtrack, and finally ‘Breakfast In Bed’ which really had her belting it out. It’s safe to say that she gained herself a fair few fans in Birmingham!

When Daniel took to the stage the crowd went wild, and it was obvious that he has become somewhat of a pin-up for teenage Brits, there were the usual screams and cheers which only increased when he got into his set. I must say that Daniel is a very good performer, and his voice sounds better live than it does on CD. He sang every one of the fourteen tracks from his debut, plus he sang his break-out hit ‘Stop Me’ (from Mark Ronson’s Version), and seemed to be loving every single second of it. Not only was Daniel on top form, his band were one of the tightest I’ve heard in a while (especially for a mainstream pop/soul act) and his backing singers were fantastic (more on them later).

Hearing an album live usually only has one effect on me, that is to increase my appreciation of it regardless of my initial opinion, however hearing Love and War live was a bit of a double-edged sword in many ways. The songs I originally liked on the album, such as ‘Impossible’, ‘Red’ and ‘For Your Money’ stood out even more, whereas songs I thought were not as strong, such as ‘All Of The People’ and ‘Chainsaw’ appealed to me even less.

My favourite track of the album was Daniel’s duet with Adele on ‘Water and a Flame’, however I wasn’t sure if we would hear this, beiong a duet and all. So, I was pleasantly surprised when Daniel called up one of his backing singers, who I think was called Ladonna (apologies if i’m wrong), to sing the track with him. All i’m going to say is someone needs to give this lady a recording deal … NOW!

‘Stop Me’ was another highlight of the show. This was the song that first introduced Daniel to the British public, and the song has lost none of it’s appeal since being released two years ago. The crowd were singing along, and at one point he gave it all over to them to belt out the familiar chorus. As the song drew to a close, Daniel left the stage and his two backing singers gave a rousing rendition of The Supremes hit ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’ (which is heavily sampled on ‘Stop Me’), much to the approval of older fans in the audience.

Overall the show was a great success and I would recommend that anyone who has the chance to catch Daniel live does so. The remaining shows are:

7th Oct 2009                  ABC                                                    Glasgow
9th Oct 2009                 Academy                                       Manchester
10th and 11th Oct      Shepherds Bush Empire     London


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