And so, gig number one for 2015 is courtesy of the Lexington; at a personal level the venue for so many great live events in 2014 and the scene of a Christmas party two years ago that remains etched into my hippocampus. And, as luck would have it the musical entertainment on show this evening was in the form of Sam Genders; more commonly known as the popular recording artist ‘Diagrams’.
Genders, returning to his old London stomping ground from his more northern abode in Sheffield, was in town to showcase his stunningly good and brand spanking new LP ‘Chromatics’ and all in the form of an LP launch party. The album was released last week to much critical acclaim and this was an opportunity for fans of Genders, journalists and passers-by looking for warmth on a cold night to see what all the fuss was about. None, with the exception of the venues staff working downstairs and out of earshot, would be disappointed.
Truth be told, an LP launch can sometimes be a monotonous affair. If the LP is particularly bad (or not to one’s taste) then the occasion can be a little tedious and no amount of alcohol can distract you from the nagging and nonstop thought that you could have been at home watching Sky Atlantic. Some launch gigs also do that quite bizarre thing of literally playing out the album from track 1 through 10, and in order. However, ‘Diagrams’ are way too canny for all that malarkey. It is with great delight that I can confirm we had neither scenario. Instead we were treated not only to the cream of the new album but also an assortment of tracks from the artists debut LP ‘Black Light’.
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This really was an entertaining evening for the packed out bar. ‘Diagrams’ entertained throughout and the continual exchanges between band and audience where enjoyable. The balloons were an added bonus (you need to go to one of their gigs to experience this as I’m not sure where to start) and the band were as approachable as one could wish for.
Even Genders apparent OCD with his guitar was quite gratifying. A quick tune-up here, another there … it was all to give the audience the best possible opportunity to experience his music at its best.
With regards to the set-list then there was really only one winner for me. ‘You Can Talk to Me’ poked its head above the rest and clearly lifted an audience still trying to warm up from the London chill they’d just come in from. It really is a stunning radio-friendly track that will no doubt go on to ensure a larger amount of the populous becomes aware of Gender music. ‘Gentle Morning Song’ also impressed and is a far better piece live than in digital form.
The set was every bit as impressive as the LP. It wasn’t without its faults but the performance was one that contained the necessary ingredients of well written songs, enthusiasm and laughter. It’s impossible not to be drawn into this infectious album and this live performance complimented it perfectly.
Diagrams have a few more live dates to come. These are as follows…
11th February – France, Paris, Le Point Ephemere BUY TICKETS
12th February – France, Lille, La Paniche BUY TICKETS
13th February – Germany, Berlin, Comet Club BUY TICKETS
14th February – Germany, Hamburg, Molotow Club BUY TICKETS
25th February – UK, Manchester, The Ruby Lounge BUY TICKETS
26th February – UK, Bristol, The Lantern BUY TICKETS
4th March – UK, Leeds, Brudenell Social Club BUY TICKETS