hmv.com reviews... Sam Smith @ London's Somerset House
The series of shows at London’s Somerset House continued on Friday (July 18th) with a supreme set from Sam Smith, here's our full review...
Winner of both the Critics’ Choice BRIT Award and BBC’s Sound of 2014 - Sam Smith, touring his debut album In The Lonely Hour (which you can preview on the right-hand side of the page).
Somerset House. The gorgeous venue on the banks of the Thames.
Any good supports?
Grammy-nominated, 19 year old MNEK has burst onto the scene this year with writing and production credits for artists such as Clean Bandit, Rudimental and Little Mix. He drew one of the biggest crowds of the week tonight for a support act at the Somerset House Summer Series. A mash up of 'Ready For Your Love' and '100%' featuring A*M*E got the crowd moving, but MNEK ended his set with the more seriously soulful 'Wrote a Song about You', the lead single from his debut album.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
Tonight’s was a TGIF turn out for Sam Smith who greeted the expectant crowd by asking “who'll give two fingers to this rain?” The atmosphere was one of celebration once Smith informed his rapt audience that the show was his first in London since the album, ‘In the Lonely Hour’, topped the charts. The rain came as a welcome cool-aid to a courtyard full of genuinely elated fans.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
The set tonight featured almost every track from Smith’s debut album and the crowd stood, swayed, jumped and wiggled along with delight to every note. Modestly, the London-born soul star requested the audience’s assistance for Naught Boy single ‘La La La’ and they were more than happy to oblige. The party spirit continued despite Smith’s own acknowledgement that the album is quite "depressing" and the sing-along reached a crescendo for lead single ‘Lay Me Down’. Chart sensation ‘Money on my Mind’ was spliced with CeCe Peniston’s ‘Finally’ in the most light-hearted part of the night’s performance and was swiftly followed by the most somber: the raw power of Smith’s vocals soaring above the crowds with ‘Latch’.
Any good between song banter?
Smith was relaxed and friendly with his home crowd despite the downpour, jokingly scolding them at one point “who’s been moaning about the heat all day eh?”
Did they put on much of a show?
The light-show was minimal, the stage crowded with a host of wonderful supporting musicians including strings, keys, drums, backing-singers, and guitars.
What was the highlight of the set?
Smith closed his set with ‘Stay With Me’ the third single from his debut album. The young singer appeared unruffled as he calmly welcomed R'n'B royalty Mary J. Blige to the stage for the second half of the track. Needless to say, the crowd lost their sh*t.
Where can I catch him next?
Sam Smith is playing pretty much every summer festival from here to Kathmandu. In October he tours the UK, but it's pretty much already sold out.