17 April 2013
Unconventional best sums up last night. From the set list delivered on a paper plate to his self-reprimanding humour, Sam Bradley entertains.
From the moment he opened with 'Science Prevents Me' the charisma, charm and banter started immediately. From trying to beckon the crowd forward, to his witty remarks during his set and reference to himself as a ‘Southern fairy’, the Preston crowd was quickly won over. Laughing along, quite uncontrollably, and then settling back down to be mesmerised by Sam’s powerful vocals and strong stage presence.
There were problems with his tuner, commotions back stage (literally clash and banging behind the curtains!), but nothing swayed Sam. Even though he is quite hesitant before he tells the crowd a story, he has that kind of personality that makes it all part of the show – he even mocks his own ‘side show’ and reaffirms to himself that "my job is to sing".
He continued to provide the crowd with witty anecdotes and during the occasional silence he would break it with a comment like ‘drop a f**king pin in here’ having the audience in fits of laughter again.
During his song “Lights”, when he may have fluffed up, he blames Ryan Keen’s presence for putting him off playing. “Now you’re here I can’t play anymore’. He has personality aplenty.
Antics aside though, lets get to the real scene of this Sam Bradley show.
His voice resonates throughout the whole venue, and has a real passionate and soulful sound. He has fun with his songs and is a really personable singer. He can to and fro from being the professional musician to the comic who admonishes his own frolicking.
This man can play the guitar and has a set of vocals that would equal any established blues and soul singer. By his own admission he enjoys what he does and watching him lose himself in his lyrics and music is moving. However, just as you think he’s seriously settling into the song, he throws in a facial expression, joke or funny jig to keep the crowd on their toes.
Sam deserves greater recognition. His vocal range is wide, he has husky tones to his voice and can project his vocals far. He is a fantastic singer and songwriter – using a wide variety of subjects for his lyrics - as well as a great showman and these two combined make for a great show.
You can tell Sam has been touring for the past four years - he is quietly confident on stage but also humble. He knows he needs to portray his music and style, but gaining an insight into his personality is instrumental in becoming a fan. And win fans at Preston he did.
Although it was an intimate venue, with a small crowd in attendance, mainly students, the atmosphere was very respectful and they were there to listen and watch the performances.
If you haven’t seen Sam live, it is a must. You will leave the gig feeling fulfilled and satisfied and full of love and admiration for him and his music. This was my second time seeing him, and I cannot wait for the next. I have fallen for his music hook, line and I am sinking right down deep to the bottom of the ocean…
by Sara Parker, for ASoulfulSoundUK