Review: Samm Henshaw @ The Deaf Institute

Tipped as one of the stars of 2016, Samm Henshaw has been gaining a lot of support in recent months, alongside his childhood friends The Sound Experiment.

His EP, The Sound Experiment, has received much critical acclaim with many viewing him as the saviour of the British music scene.

In what proved to be the last night of his breakout tour, after supporting James Bay this year, the Londoner showed that he has more than enough talent to back up this promise.

First though, the night was opened by Australian singer-songwriter Ben Abraham, who was making his maiden voyage to Manchester, and he captivated the crowd with a string of folk infused ballads.

Mahalia, another young British artist, was up next, and she left the room in awe with her powerful lyrics and beautiful voice –despite the sore throat.

This all worked in harmony with the intimacy of The Deaf Institute and created the perfect environment for Henshaw to step up and conduct the audience to his own tune.

He entered the stage with the battle cry ‘Are we ready to have a good time Manchester?’ – whilst beckoning the congregation to move closer to the stage.

He refrained from opening with one of his better known songs and instead chose Everything, a soulful, R&B laden attack on the political elite; a sure fire hit with Mancunians.

Along with another favourite Autonomy, there was a clear theme throughout Henshaw’s music and a clear message.

From here he took things down a notch and lulled the crowd into a state of melancholia, with introspective Redemption offering the first opportunity of the night for Henshaw to stretch his vocal range.

Temption provided a change of pace to the evening, with Henshaw showing his abilities as a rapper and a perfect break in between songs.

With this start, one would be forgiven for thinking that this was a room not best suited to One Direction’s back catalogue, however in the middle of the set that is exactly what they got when the Londoner gave his own take on The Best Song Ever.

And though die hard 1Ders may not be best pleased, this proved to be a hit with the audience, which was by now well and truly in the palm of his hand.

Henshaw really is an artist who takes audience participation seriously, so much so that, along with a little help from the crowd, he serenaded one lucky lady with Happy Birthday. Not a bad memento of the night.

And the covers did not stop with 1D, as The Temptations were also honoured with a rendition of My Girl, a clear indication of where his music takes inspiration from.

The night finished with an extended version of his first single, Better, in which he split the crowd between boys and girls, only for them to come together to make for an incredible backing group – another sign of Henshaw’s ability to communicate with the audience.

Manchester may have drawn the curtain on his first tour, but it is sure to be the curtain raiser on Henshaw’s career.

Things can only get better and better for Samm Henshaw and The Sound Experiment.

Image courtesy of Wikieditor243, via Wikipedia, with thanks

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