Cosmo Jarvis at The Talking Heads (27/11/2012)

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Cosmo Jarvis was a bit of an unassuming character as he took to the stage at The Talking Heads on Tuesday night. Dressed in chinos and a plain jumper he looked more like a member of the audience than a musician and perhaps that’s why before he even started, he seemed relatable meaning the crowd warmed to him.

Unlike previous tours, Jarvis had set himself up with an entire band – bringing a new dimension to his live shows, which works far better. ‘Love This’, a personal favourite of mine, was turned from a softer pop to a full out torrent which showcased Jarvis’ musical talent at its very best. The setlist was composed mainly of material from his two most recent albums; highlighting how much he’s grown musically in the short period of time.

Overall in the setlist, there was a little something for everyone from the folk with the thrash rock breakdown of ‘Sunshine’ and the infectious summertime pop of ‘She Doesn’t Mind’. Each genre touched upon was executed with a level of precision and originality that was quite astounding to see it all come from one individual; ensuring no two songs sound alike.

Unfortunately though, throughout the set Cosmo Jarvis looked slightly unsure of himself. There was no crowd interaction nor was there much depth added to his stage persona. This is, no doubt, due to what he has experienced previously – and he obviously he has now come to rely on his music to do the talking. It was a shame really, because with a little more engagement, his performance would be elevated to a truly impressive level.

Inevitably the set closed with Jarvis’ more well-known song ‘Gay Pirates’ which has been previous endorsed by Stephen Fry, no less. Although at first blighted by ‘technical difficulties’ with the mandolin (actually caused by Cosmo setting it up incorrectly which, he defended himself later, was because ‘he was only borrowing it’); it sparked an enthused sing-a-long from the crowd. And certainly was a great closer to a solid, enjoyable set.

Cosmo Jarvis put on an impressive show full of different dynamics. Channelling the Ed Sheeran wave of singer-songwriters, he showed himself to be far wittier and less afraid of sticking to conventions than his counterparts. It’s something you don’t realise you’ve been missing out on until you see it for yourself.

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