Alex Clare, Scala, London
Monday 18 June 2012
When the most lauded female artist in the world proclaims your album to be a favourite, it is time to take note. Alex Clare is back and a sold-out Scala now gets to see why Adele is such a fan.
Clare's musical jaunt has been anything but equable. Early critical acclaim preceded stasis, when his record label effectively jettisoned him after poor sales. The singer's career beacon was finally lit by, ironically, the unlikeliest of internet heroes. So many fledgling performers garner online buzz through YouTube and social network grapevines, but it was a Microsoft Internet Explorer ad that gave Clare's "Too Close" its boost.
Clare was once a trainee chef, and one wonders if his food was as experimental as his sound: essentially soul, infused with dubstep, funk and jungle. He enters as an immediate antithetical lead, wearing a flat cap and sporting quite magnificent facial hair. But then he sings, and what a voice he has.
Reminiscent of Conner Reeves, his range is impressive and it takes rampant percussion to match its fervour. After an intense opening, a shy Clare finally opens his eyes and unwinds, casting a massive smile to his audience during "Whispering". By the time he engages in "Hands Are Clever" his ebullience is contagious.
Starting an acoustic interlude, Clare adds his name to a list including Frank Sinatra and Johnny Cash with an incongruous cover of "Goodnight Irene". A quiet acoustic song it highlights Clare's charisma that amplifies throughout the night. His songs are laden with a particular cathartic honesty, making him an affable lead.
After the calm come two cracking versions of the songs that upped his American profile. "Up All Night" is the first, prompting absolute delirium with its catchy D'n'B-laced chorus. Clare then begins his goodbye, reducing the crowd to nodding dogs, rocked by the earth-shaking bass vibrations of "Too Close". Finally, he encores with just piano and vocals for "I Won't Let You Down". Hopefully, this time around, that will also be the mantra of the record label, because Alex Clare deserves recognition as a major talent.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Doctors remove 80 teeth from boy's jaw
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 5 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Downton Abbey series 5: George Clooney to try and kiss Dowager Countess in charity Christmas special
Game of Thrones is most-pirated TV show of 2014
Exodus: Gods and Kings banned in the UAE for 'religious mistakes'
Doctor Who and the BBC 'promoting a gay agenda', viewers complain
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk