Summer Vibes With Alex Clare At Somerset House
REVIEW: 'Too Close' keeps it intimate in the Parisian courtyard...
On Thursday July 11, hundreds of fans gathered in the courtyard of Somerset House with eager anticipation of seeing Alex Clare perform at one of the annual Summer Series gigs.
Feeling: Chloe Howl took to the stage first to warm up the crowd and it’s safe to say with her soft pop rock/electro sound, Chloe got everyone involved and rocking out to her fast-paced, full-of-attitude songs.
The air was filled with excitement for Alex to come out and keep the upbeat mood going but Clare had other ideas, taking to the stage bringing the feeling back to a more relaxed vibe in the setting sunshine with his smooth, laid-back songs.
This went down well with the crowd especially the couples in the audience who lapped up the loved-up tunes. Ramping it up however for his finale of Too Close, Alex has the power to get everyone jumping around and singing along at the top of their lungs. It was clear to see there were a lot of fans there that had been listening to Alex from the beginning.
The Look: Alex was dressed in his signature ensemble - a simple white shirt, jeans and a tweed flat cap for his performance, which matched his laid-back vibe throughout the evening. The big stage with minimal dressing, except for the full band of trumpets, keyboards and guitars was a big contrast to the grand architecture and Parisian feel of the Somerset House courtyard square, but complimented the tone of Alex’s set perfectly.
Tunes: Starting his set with a slow intro, followed by the smooth Relaxed My Beloved - which the crowd echoed back - Alex also included new material such as The Story, which went down a storm. Later, he covered the Etta James classic Damn Your Eyes, which again was well received and executed brilliantly.
Once the sun had set, Alex started to pick up the pace and performed his songs with remixes in, Treading Water and a particular favourite Up All Night which excited the crowd and really livened the place up. This led nicely into his final song, his Top 5 dubstep smash Too Close. With strobe lights bouncing off of the walls of Somerset House, the packed out courtyard was full of energy and the crowd went wild with hands in the air, dancing around and chanting back the lyrics. A great way to end a very enjoyable show.
Banter: Before the show, Alex circulated outside around round the terrace, talking to the audience and genuinely taking in an interest in his crowd - a rare thing these days.
Sweat Factor: After what was quite a chilled gig until the end, sweat was minimal (minus the couples) but naturally for a hot, summers evening, perspiration was inevitable but we're not sure how much of that was down to Alex’s set.
Summary: Somerset House offers a unique musical experience which on this warm, sunny evening made it very intimate and enjoyable. For a fan of the harder elements of his repertoire it was a little too relaxed, but overall Alex is a great act to see live, connecting on a personal level with his audience. Also keep an eye on Chloe Howl - definitely one to watch!
By Georgia Bone