Opening for John Grant was EB the Younger – which is the solo project of Midlake singer Eric Pulido.
Together with keyboard player Dan he gave us a collection of some genuinely lovely songs.
‘Used to Be’ sounded wonderful and he described it as “If you want to watch some grown men play dress up check out the video on YouTube”
They ended with a gorgeous version of Midlake’s ‘Young Bride’
John Grant’s album Love is Magic is surely one of the albums of the last year.
With his own blend of synthpop and snark, it’s great to see him perform these songs live in the King’s Theatre.
This is the first time I’ve seen him perform and after about a minute it brings a different dimension to my understanding of him as an artist.
Firstly there’s his voice.
His voice is amazing.
Secondly there’s the lyrics.
I’ve always found his songs range from witty and ironic, sarcastic and cutting to heartbreaking – sometimes all in the same song.
After a minute I realised that he doesn’t write witty songs, he is genuinely a funny guy.
His mid -song introductions were really funny – the first thing said after taking to the stage and waving to the folk in the balconies was a fun eulogy to Nice n’ Sleazys.: “They have the coolest door – I stopped for a photo”
Then the next song intro: “Here’s a song my mother taught me. It’s called ‘Jesus Hates Fags’.”
Backed by a four-piece band that seemed set up to play the new material, there was a lot of synth action and a massive and pretty impressive lighting system – sometimes creating a big spectacle, and at others being stripped back to just him on piano with moody lighting surrounded by smoke.
Maybe it was the effect of being in such a beautiful venue or maybe it’s the lighting and the glittery face paint, but John Grant blew me away.
I left thinking what a special performer and we’re so lucky to have him here.