What a great way to start my reviews for 2016. I last saw Louis perform in November at The Borderline when he performed as a support act, and he was excellent. It was therefore a joy to see him headline his first London gig at the intimate Old Blue Last, and I am happy to report that this young man just keeps getting better. He seems to have exploded on to the music scene since his debut EP and he performed a nine song set here leaving the audience begging for more but, like Elvis, he doesn’t do encores!
Apparently one of Louis’s heroes is Johnny Cash, and his songwriting has more than a nod towards the experience-driven story telling of the man in black. It’s this honesty in the songs and the driving rock and roll delivery that grabs the audience and quickly has them dancing. There is a feeling that Louis sings about things that mean something to him, things that he knows, things that are real and it’s this style that transcends much of the pop in the charts of today. The combination of heartfelt lyrics sung to impossibly catchy driving rhythms is a winner, and I would encourage you to listen to the lyrics of the songs. This is a young man with something to say and he says it with style and swagger.
On stage Louis is excellently supported by the guitars of Jack Postlethwaite and Jesse Eigen, and the rapport between the three is evident as they launch into the set and are singing single ’25 Reasons’ by the second song. ‘Cocaine Baby’ must be a nod towards Cash’s ‘Cocaine Blues’ and then Louis slows things down with ‘Jolie’, but the respite is short as, with a cheeky smile, we were treated to ‘She wants Me’. There’s really no let up from this “little cool cowboy”, and the finishing one-two of new release ’45’ and the excellent, ‘Rebel’ literally whips up the crowd into a happy frenzy before the set sadly comes to an end.
It’s evidence of the growing profile of this Liverpool singer that BBC Radio One’s Clara Amfo was bopping along with the rest of the crowd, and indeed her support of Louis is evidence of her commitment to rising new stars. It’s great to hear Louis being played on the radio more and more, and I would advise you to see this man as soon as you can. Tickets last night were just £5 and there are few things in life that will give you as much pleasure for such a small outlay. Louis will be supporting Sunset Sons at Koko in early April and that promises to be a fantastic gig. Louis Berry is going to be a star, don’t be caught napping!