Preview: Stu Larsen & Natsuki Kurai at The Brook, Southampton

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Self-professed vagabond and folksinger/songwriter Stu Larsen is coming to The Brook on 12th October with harmonica player Natsuki Kurai in tow. Stu chose to leave his home three years ago to go with the flow and take up the opportunities of the here and now, which has lead him to a lengthy collaboration with Natsuki that began 8 years ago.

Their lost in translation moment happened in the middle of Tokyo, with neither speaking the others’ language. Communicating without words only aided the building of their close relationship, and the pair have flitted from one home country to the other to play together.  Their latest tour follows the release of their second joint EP, Stu Larsen & Natsuki Kurai II. They began in Natsuki’s homeland of Japan and will end the tour in Stu’s native Australia; they’ve already seen the US and Canada, and their stint in the UK and Europe is the penultimate leg of the journey that started back in May.

The beautiful, poignant and intimate mood that Natsuki and Stu conjure will be matched in kind with The Brook’s own legacy of live performances. With a candle-lit setup, no one will be able to escape that warm and fuzzy feeling you can get. Every song plays as a duet between Stu’s playing and singing and Natsuki’s harmonica. Acting at times as a partner to Stu or a partner to his guitar, Natsuki’s harmonica can completely take over the song with an awesome solo, hang back and fill in as melody or vocal decoration or, as at the end of ‘My Poor Father’, bend and transform the song and its rhythm. Natsuki dances and flirts with these roles effortlessly as Stu’s steady acoustic guitar and playful Aussie accent move from the lighter to the more contemplative numbers.

All in all, with this as a return visit for Stu to the historic Southampton venue, and with two support acts in singer/songwriters Kelvin Jones and Ben Dlugokecki, it’s set to be a deeply rewarding evening of live music.

Watch the video for ‘Going Back to Bowenville’ off the new EP below, filmed from the perspective of Natsuki’s then almost 2-year-old eldest daughter Nagi, and buy tickets for the gig taking place at The Brook on 12th October here!      

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Fourth year French and English student and 2018/19 Live Editor for The Edge.

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