Sunday, 25 February 2018

Scott Alan Live At Zedel - Review

Live At Zedel, London


Scott Alan

Back in London for a one week residency in January, Scott Alan was in sparkling upbeat form as he played to a packed audience at Live At Zedel. With the human condition having long been Alan’s muse, the last time he’d played this venue had been a short season that proved to be an introspective glimpse into a soul heavy with sadness. One year on and it is clear the songwriter is in a much happier place. With boyfriend Jerry sat in the audience, the gig was a collection of songs new and old, woven into a set-list riddled with Alan’s hallmark rapid fire irreverence.

Opening with Goodbye New York, a number from his new album Lifeline, Alan brought a Billy Joel like intensity to his performance. The song, inspired by his move away from Manhattan to Florida was wry and reflective yet at the same time vibrant and set a neatly balanced tone for the evening.

On the night of this review there were three featured guest vocalists – Tyrone Huntley, Kayleigh McKnight and Tim Newman. To much joshing banter from Alan, Huntley was up first delivering sweet interpretations of Kiss The Air followed by Sail. Newman followed with an equally nuanced albeit distinctly different style, to take on I’ve Already Won. Alan himself wrapped up the first half with another new song (inspired by Jerry), My Unexpected Melody.

The second act kicked off with McKnight and Huntley delivering a powerful duet before a stunning solo from McKnight in I’m A Star, alongside a powerful accompaniment from Alan’s piano work, had the audience cheering.

Perhaps the evening’s most powerful moment was Huntley’s take on Anything Worth Holding Onto. One of Alan’s signature tunes the number reaches into the very heart of depression, demanding a well-honed voice to open up its carefully crafted complexities. Huntley grasped the melody, holding onto both its strength and its desperation. He stamped his own hallmark on the number in a way that has not been seen for many years and has been long overdue. It was a brilliant, memorable performance that defined a rather lovely cabaret.

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