Live Review: Angel – Barfly, London (April 11, 2012)
Last night, Angel headlined The Guardian’s 'New Band Of The Day' showcase at Camden’s Barfly. The other artists performing at the eclectic celebration of emerging talent were a diverse mixture of urban, indie and pop acts, including the fantastic Josh Kumra, Mr Hudson’s new venture, BIGKids, and Pixie Geldof’s band, Violet...
The fact that Angel was selected to headline the event further proves how strong the UK urban scene is at the moment. His position at the top of last night’s bill was a great opportunity for him to showcase his crossover potential, as audience members of all ages and tastes danced along to his melodic urban/pop stylings, which he performed with confidence and panache, supported by his strong and enthusiastic live band.
Having worked behind the scenes writing tracks for the likes of JLS, Pixie Lott and Jason Derulo in the past, Angel was obviously in his element onstage. His confidence, joy and fantastic vocal made for an exhilarating show. Like fellow music industry triple-threat and hardworking genre-hopper Labrinth, he draws from a broad range of different styles, such as R&B, hip-hop, grime and dance, to create infectious and listenable tracks which he executes with energy and passion.
But Angel seems less squeaky-clean than Lab, and his sound and look both have a slightly edgier, rawer quality to them. Whilst Lab’s sound is more transatlantic, Angel is clearly a London boy – although his catchy choruses could definitely earn him some recognition across the pond. The biggest crowd cheers were for his recent single, 'Go In Go Hard' – which features fellow Londoner, Wretch 32. By the end of the set, Angel appeared to have won over even his toughest critics and was greeted with whoops and applause from the impressed crowd.
Words: Laura Vevers (@LauraV88)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)