Jarreau Vandal (Live Set), Village Underground, London (9th November 2018)

Header photo by Andre Gordon.

Winter is most definitely here. Amongst the autumnal colours, the snap of rain is now being felt by those who ventured out into the wet and windy London weekend. Those who were brave enough to make it to Village Underground on Friday night will have been treated to a brand new live set from Dutch production extraordinaire Jarreau Vandal, who GIGsoup has been following and praising for many years.

His sound is influenced by his musical guardians Soulection, who have made it their mission to foster those who have a grasp of interesting, yet groovy sounds. Vandal has been with the radio show-cum-label for about as long as it’s inception in 2015, and began his rise as an artist with his ‘Vandalized Edits’ of popular songs. Now, Vandal has grown-up, and has fleshed out his production-heavy sound with a complete live arrangement, including drums, keys, and three vocalists.

On the night, Vandal rattled through his set, delivering classic after classic. His track ‘Nobody Else’ which originally featured Brooklyn brass duo Brasstracks (who we absolutely adore, read about them here) showed off a particular vocal flex from Vandal and Niya Wells. His rendition of his Maseago track ‘Small Talk’ also felt fleshed out and deeply groovy in the context of a live band. London sweetheart Olivia Nelson was brought on for an excellent encore rendition of ‘Someone That You Love’. Check her out, she’s incredible.

It’s difficult to compare this live arrangement to Vandal’s previous shows, which were always incredibly well-executed DJ sets. Frankly, anyone who can mix ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ (Stevie Wonder) into ‘Black Skinhead’ (Kayne West) has a gift that many of the sonically minded will never understand. In many ways, it was great to see Vandal attempting to realize his music in a fresh way. On the other hand; you kind of just want to see some dope mixing. At least, maybe that’s what some people were expecting.

Vandal really brought the heat to a cold and sad London night. He’s fresher than ever and has really come into his own. Keep an eye on this one folks-he’s a star that will continue to rise high.