Last week, almost a year to the day after his live performance at Omeara, Ben Abraham came back to London to play songs from his latest brilliant album, ‘Friendly Fire’, to an adoring audience who braved the pouring Autumn rain to fill Lafayette to see these hugely moving songs sung live.
When ‘Friendly Fire’ came out it was clear that this was so much more to the artist than just a collection of beautiful songs; these songs represent a life journey for the artist and in so much are incredible to see live. On the record, the stunning lyrics are beautifully and expertly produced but for this live performance, the songs are stripped back to keyboard and guitar versions which highlight the poetry and depth of emotion contained in the lyrics.
Almost as if that depth of emotion might be too much, Ben’s warm and engaging personality helps lift the mood between songs but in all honesty it felt like every person in the room was so invested in the artist that even if he’d sung the songs back to back, they would have been equally pleased. Every word of every song seemed to hang in the air, like bubbles of humanity that burst and released their life experience into the ether. The rapt nature of the crowd during songs and the adoring applause at each conclusion were evidence, if that were needed, that Ben had the sell out attendance in the palm of his hand. Ben has documented his life journey on social media but even without the background story of the songs, the stunning poetry of the lyrics and the sincerity of their delivery would have been enough to carry the crowd with him.
Whenever I am lucky enough to see this artist I am blown away by his vocals. On record, they are a match for any of the major stars that we slavishly follow irrespective of what they release. In person, up close and in this beautifully intimate setting, the vocals offer something close to communion as they soar above the acoustic melody.
If you’ve never experienced Ben Abraham before, I implore you to seek out his music. As we in the UK go through this sad period of our history and give thanks for a life well lived, we try to look forward to the future knowing that experience will ensure a fulfilling future. Let Ben Abraham be your musical salve, let his spirituality be a guiding light.