Those fortunate enough to follow Dan Michaelson on any of the various forms of social media will already be aware of the artists laid back and ‘share-all’ approach to the circus that can sometimes be the music industry. He is un-afraid to post criticism (see the very funny Amazon review on his Twitter account) and has a like-ability and sense of humour that you can’t help be drawn into. When you consider these factors and that the British singer-songwriter has also released one of 2014’s finest albums, ‘Distance’, there was no way the trek from east London to the trendy surroundings of Clerkenwells ‘Slaughtered Lamb’ was ever going to be a chore.
I was keen to see if Michaelson’s seductive and gritty baritone was as infectious live as it is digitally, and to experience those wonderfully crafted love-torn lyrics. On both counts i was not too be disappointed. The artists performance was treated with the upmost respect as a hush devoured the audience as each track was played out. Time stood still as this intimate venue played it’s part in providing a quite stunning set. There were no special effects or parlour tricks but a wonderful demonstration of how humbling music can be in it’s rawest form.
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The evening started with the stunning ‘Bones’ (quite easily the best track from ‘Distance’). It set the tone for the remainder of the set and certainly quashed any doubts i had concerning the ability to translate the recorded material to live surroundings. There were dips back into older releases, with ‘Breaking Falls’ bringing the loudest applause of the evening.
The bands interaction with the audience should also be commended. Before ‘Every Step’ Michaelson stated that “We are going to play another song about heartbreak now” to which an audience member responded “No shit”. The entire evening was one of relaxation and calmness, and anyone who left the venue with a heart rate of more than 60 beats per minute clearly hadn’t opened themselves to the proceedings.
This was a quite beautiful performance, containing all of the hallmarks mentioned in the opening paragraph. It was impossible not to laugh at the witty interaction and then to be utterly overwhelmed by the almost effortless manor in which these talented individuals performed musical moments of heartbreak and love.
A massive thank you to @MissLedders for this articles photo. On the strength of this i would be happy to recommend her for birthdays, weddings and bar mitzvah’s.