Haunting and beautiful: Joshua Radin Live

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The Roundhouse, 19th October

Having been introduced to Joshua Radin last year, I was very much looking forward to seeing him live. It would make a change to go and see someone so different to my usual choice of live band, especially since the sentimental value of music for me was quite high, having been introduced to him during my first year at Southampton. If you don’t already know who Radin is, you may have heard a couple of his tracks on Scrubs, since Zach Braff is a big fan, or on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, 90210 or Grey’s anatomy and his single ‘I’d rather be with you’ charted earlier this year.

This gig was the last in a five day tour of the UK, including Dublin and Glasgow, and preceded the release of his third album, The Rock and The Tide, which has already come out in the United States. Having not heard any of his new work yet, I was interested to find out what it would be like. I’d been told that he’d changed a little and used more electric guitar and less of his signature acoustic sound. This made me slightly dubious; would his voice lend itself to this change?

The mellow atmosphere associated with Radin was brilliantly established in London’s Roundhouse by his two supporting acts, Rumer and Justin Nozuka.  After appearing on stage to many screams of adoration, he started the concert with a string of tracks from his first two albums We Were Here and Simple Times. Radin opened with the beautiful No Envy, No Fear’, which established a brilliantly calming atmosphere, captivating the audience, who were practically silent and listening intently for the first half an hour. This rapture didn’t stop him from being bombarded with many declarations of love from the female members of the audience, and he was good-natured enough to respond and strike up conversation, even dedicating a couple of songs.

He then introduced tracks from his new album The Rock and The Tide.  Starting with I Think I’ll Go Inside and following with the album’s title track, it was evident that Radin was able to move easily between sounds. Despite enjoying the relaxing atmosphere of his older work, I was pleased to hear such a positive change – another album of similar music could have been a bit too much for me. When asked for audience participation with ‘’Nowhere To Go’, the crowd were only too happy to oblige and this contrast with the first half of the gig was astonishing – and exceptional.

The rest of the gig went incredibly smoothly with some fantastic tracks and lost none of its magic. After closing with his haunting song ‘Winter, Radin left the stage and it looked less likely that he’d be gracing us with his presence again. But just as everyone was giving up and about to leave, there were yells from the back of the room. Radin had decided to pop up from behind everybody and play a quick track in amongst the crowd. This is the sort of thing that makes you realise you are watching somebody who really does love doing what he does best. I was surprised when he stated that this was the biggest gig that he’d headlined – his music sounds like it should be played at huge venues worldwide. If you like genuine musical talent, men with guitars and enchanting lyrics, I urge you to hunt down his music if you haven’t already and see what you think for yourself.

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