It was a sold out show at London’s Omeara, a club built under the arches of London Bridge railway station. Owned by Ben Lovett, of Mumford & Sons, it opened in late 2016 and has swiftly become a popular venue for alternative artists. You don’t get much more alternative than Nahko and Trevor Hall – the latter on his first visit to London – but we knew what to expect and got all of it and then some.
The audience lined up along Omeara Street last Monday evening, excitedly talking about the forthcoming show. A beautiful aroma filled the air, revealed to be a smouldering smudge stick of Palo Santo wood, a Peruvian speciality incense burned to cleanse an area. We entered the venue, thus purified and eager to enjoy the night. It seemed all of alternative London was in attendance: hair buns and beards on many of the men, while the women wore comfortable and flowing dresses, sometimes with stylish shawls. Tribal tattoos were in abundance. So many open minded people in the one room ensured we were in for something special.
Trevor Hall walked on stage. One man with his guitar, humble, casually dressed with a beanie on his head, we welcomed him with love. Hall’s music mixes roots, folk, and reggae, and his songs are about his life experiences and spiritual journey. Trevor most recently released his three part EP series, ‘The Fruitful Darkness’, and his songs came both from there and the rest of this extensive back catalogue.
We enjoyed Trevor’s stories, such as the time he was confronted after a show and asked about the meaning of the song, ‘Lime Tree’.
Hall explained it was written by candlelight in a friend’s house, and the song is effectively a documentation of that: ‘I spark a match, and watch the candle burn/The wick runs out’, but his inquisitor was convinced it must be about eternity, so as to ensure she wasn’t disappointed, the song was now “about eternity”. Notable too, apart from his excellent songs with storytelling style, Trevor’s interaction with the audience showed a deeply human side. We’ve said humble, but we must also add passionate and loving.
If we had come only for Trevor it would have been an excellent show, but this was a “solo” show in two parts, and so after about an hour of warm, evocative, and at times challenging songs, Trevor made way for Nahko. I turn here to his fans for comment, as I don’t feel I can truly give his performance justice.
“Nahko delivers time after time after time and has been the outstanding performer year after year, a poet, a songwriter and performer, an all round special human being, whose music never fails to stir emotions inside you.” – Simon Clarke
Amy Burt was also at the show:
“The show was so special, you just feel the music flowing through your body and stand there looking up at the stage, at Nahko and Trevor, feeling at peace and alive and everything in that moment makes sense. I would urge everyone to see these artists live, their passion for truth shines through their music, and it changes you when they share it with you. I left the show with energy running through me, the room was packed but Nahko and Trevor made you feel like they sang directly to your soul. The show was about love and I left the show feeling loved.”
Amy continues: “That and their voices are just so pure, Nahko’s voice gives me goosebumps, I stare up at him in awe of the moment and when he sang ‘Love Letters To God’, and when Hawane Rios and Pua Case came on stage for a Hawaiian rendition of ‘Directions’, I felt blessed. Trevor too is a genuine soul and his voice is so smooth it just melts into your skin. The show was beautiful 🙏🏻”
The soulful and heartfelt performance by Nahko was characterised by humility and at times humour. We came together as one, especially when Nahko invited us all to turn on our phone’s torches, the result a feeling of the roof lifting: it was as if we were actually outside under the stars, transported and transfixed by the music.