Notting Hills Art Club
12 June 2012
By: M.L Healey, Show Reporter
Science prevents me
Not your kind
That’s how strong my love is
It was good to be back at Notting Hill Arts Club which is a great venue for intimate gigs. Tonight it was packed and the audience was much larger than Sam Bradley’s previous show there this year. Even though he was not headlining ‘TV Nights’ a lot were here just to see Sam (I know, I checked with the door).
As I entered the club the unmistakable moody opening bars of ‘Lights’ filled the room and the audience was riveted to his performance, a pause in the song due to forgotten lyrics brought a little humour as his mum came to his rescue! Sam explained to the audience that his set had a theme and that was ‘about feeling… love and passion… experience and fire…It’s about the Euros’. In short, his support of England and football. Odds at 12/1 mean it’s a long shot but it’s nice he’s patriotic.
In reference to his theme, his next song ‘Science Prevents Me’ was, according to the man, about not believing. Perhaps he hoped that by cheering “Come on England” before ‘Not your kind’ might bring them some much needed luck. I couldn’t detect the football theme in this song unless the disappointment conveyed in the song parallels what the nation will be feeling if England doesn’t win (fingers, toes & legs all crossed though).
I had never heard Sam perform ‘That’s How Strong My Love Is’ live and it was executed beautifully tonight. Although he didn’t pen this song, his performance was intense and soulful. It’s always fun to see him perform ‘Details’ and it’s usually prefaced with an anecdote, tonight – carrying on the theme, he professed his love of football (you don’t say!) but not of the yob culture that is often associated with football fanaticism. His authoritative singing of remorseful lyrics should serve as a warning about such violence.
The set concluded with fan-favourites ‘Little Sister’ and ‘Go Back’ and the audience soaked up his oft gritty yet mellifluous vocals. Like a dutiful son, Sam thanked his mum and was gracious in his thanks to all that came out tonight. His worry that people wouldn’t turn up tonight was unfounded. He should really take his own advice and believe in his musical abilities and appeal.