José González, Scala, 11.03.2015
This week, the lovely folk at Songs Publishing took us to see José González at The Scala. You remember him, he sang that Heartbeats tune on that Sony bouncing balls ad. You may not know that this was actually a cover, and the original was by his swedish electro pop wobblers, The Knife. The original couldn't be more different and it's well worth a little listen here.
Anyway, I must not digress, as you'd expect, this was a pretty intimate affair, Jose and guitar, 2 backing vocalists and 2 percussionists, leading us on a journey through some of his better known numbers (which are truth be told all covers) the aforementioned ‘Heartbeats’, Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’. Despite this, he does genuinely make them his own, certainly winning the competition between him and Newton Faulkner for best cover of a Massive Attack song. We were also treated to highlights from his new EP 'Vestage and Claws' delving into questions about the purpose of life and moments of heavy self reflection. Indulgent? Definitely. But I like that in my lo-fi post folk, Argentine/Swede singer songwriters with birds living in their beard.
There is a poignancy and genuine depth to José's performances though which are seemingly getting better as he matures, he's also a fantastic guitar player something that doesn't necessarily translate in his recordings.
With only a fire and toasted marshmallows missing (which actually wouldn't have been a bad idea seeing as it was positively arctic inside thew Scala) this was a performance worth 10 out of 10. Catch him soon - Thursday 28th May at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire - failing that, check out his latest album here.