Live Act in Focus: Ry X

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Ry Cuming (aka Ry X) is an Australian singer-songwriter who simply does not have the attention he deserves. Being the first artist signed to Stockholm-based Dumont Domont, Ry X has been gradually rising in fame since releasing his EP Berlin in 2013. With the release of Unfurl, his second album, earlier this year, the Australian singer-songwriter embarked on a world tour, and blessed the ears and eyes of many across the globe.

Ry X’s recent performances at festivals around the world have reminded me of the night I went to see him, and how my appreciation of live performance was transformed completely; I wish to share to everyone how absolutely necessary it is to catch a Ry X gig at some point in your gig conquests. Performing at the Brighton Dome (which, for the record, deserves its own entire article dedicated to its beauty) and alongside the English Chamber Orchestra, an otherwise plain February night was about to be blessed by the most soothing, atmospheric melodies.

Combining piano, drums, strings, and immense vocals, Ry X managed to completely hypnotise the audience in the beauty of the music. This made for a perfectly respectful, and mostly quiet, audience. Throughout the seats you could see various heads swaying and bobbing, as they became entranced in the sounds. I felt a feeling of unity so powerful within the concert hall, and one which I would love to experience again and again.

If slow songs are not your thing, fear not; Ry X really has something for everyone. His performance of ‘The Water’ from Unfurl will have you dancing and clapping along to the insane, repetitive synth sounds, whilst ‘YaYaYa’ will have you uncontrollably moving – what’s not to love?!

Ry’s stage presence was mystifying. Wearing long clothes and a hat, coupled with the dramatic mist floating about the stage, the anonymity of the performance remained strong at the beginning of the set. This anonymity was perfectly broken in his interactions with the audience, which were not too much, but not too little.

The most interesting part of seeing Ry X live is that it’s not all about the music. One does not go to a Ry X gig to simply listen, you go there to experience. One aspect of live performance which has never really sparked interest within me are the screens behind the artist on stage; perhaps this is due to me being entirely focussed on the music when at a gig, however my experience in this concert hall was different. Behind Ry X and the band was a wide screen, which throughout displayed the ocean and its waves. Oftentimes it was tranquil, however the especially memorable moments were when harsh, violent waves were projected on the screen. This was extremely effective in conveying the feelings and emotions within the songs, and it’s an art form I now truly appreciate when I am at a gig. Combining the powerful imagery with the emotive sounds of Ry X and the English Chamber Orchestra created an unforgettably breath-taking experience of tranquillity and excitement all at once.

If you ever want to know how it feels to feel seemingly every emotion at once, a Ry X gig is where you need to go. He is playing the Royal Albert Hall on October 14th, his biggest London headline show to date – an unmissable opportunity – and tickets are on sale here.

If you want a teaser of the beauty inside a Ry X gig, take a look at the video below. 

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Live Editor 2019/20. English student. Lover of all things music, books & cats.

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