Heading out to check out Alex Lloyd is something I never thought would be on my radar of live shows. As with many of us, I enjoyed the song Amazing back in the day, but I’m far from an Alex Lloyd fanatic by any stretch of the imagination! So it was with some trepidation that I took this one on, as much as I love live music, reviewing an artist I could potentially find myself struggling to relate to concerned me a bit.
I was pleasantly surprised when Alex took to the stage to find that this stripped back show as part of the Up Close and Acoustic tour, gelled with me instantly. The show brought Alex centre stage with just him and his acoustic guitar, for an intimate evening of stripped back performances of some of his biggest songs.
Tracks such as Black The Sun, Beautiful and Never Meant To Fail were early crowd pleasers, Black the Sun featuring an impromptu change from the recorded version which Alex explained was luckily changed before recording, giving us a taste of what nearly was, before declaring the original version was actually pretty good.
Alex was in good spirits throughout, sipping a red while explaining concert etiquette to an obvious newcomer to the live show scene as he declared, “You have to wait for the end of the show for the biggest song”, as they repeatedly called out for Alex to play his signature tune Amazing. He would do so of course, but all in good time.
Alex, while generally quietly spoken, didn’t shy away from the crowd as he conversed with fans, as well interacting to social media and ad-hoc requests for songs. Bus Ride and My Friend were another couple of highlights from the middle of the set, along with Aliens, complete (in Alex’s own words) with a fuck up he couldn’t hide.
One of the biggest problems with seeing an artist you are unfamiliar with for me, is when there is one of those moments in a show which you feel are just perfect, in this case a song which really moved me but I’ve no idea what the song was, it’s just going to have to remain as a great live concert moment for me, but Alex’s delivery was powerfully raw and emotive.
And that was the beauty of this whole performance, while I couldn’t have named a whole lot of Alex’s songs prior to the night, as I listened I realised I knew so many of his songs and they’ve up until now been some of the background tracks I’ve enjoyed throughout my life. This is something I will look to change, having discovered a newfound enjoyment of his music.
Amazing was, as expected one of the highlights of the evening, not just some “old tired Amazing shit”, as was Lucky Star and Alex’s rendition of Hallelujah was incredible.
Review by Peter Lanyon