Confusion over the venue for this gig provided an underlying sense of exclusivity to the few who made it to The Cockpit early doors. We felt lucky to be there after a hike in demand had forced the relocation of the show from the original location, Nation of Shopkeepers. So for an artist to establish some kind of focus amongst the whirring excitement would take a formidable figure; assured of his presence.
Ghostpoet emerged and did not disappoint from start to finish. Coming across bold and demanding for a poet, he displayed this strange ability to blindside us with a memorable ‘chorus’ amongst his monotony, and his flow has a deceptive loyalty to subtle rhythm, hitting drops we didn’t see coming.
Aptly named, Ghostpoet has an ability to divide and split his stream-of-consciousness in almost any direction he chooses; he is a master of his own lyrics rather than servant to their occasional brilliance. Most impressive about his live performance was the way his lyrics, read aloud with eyes closed, came alive in a performance setting – like we were witnessing their moment of creation.
Later, Jamie Woon immediately captivated us; on stage alone, using various technologies, looping his warming wails and beat boxing – producing live for us an entire solo track. It was like being tied to a comfortable chair with silk.
Spreading the spotlight after this opening track he comes across as a much less sleazy Robin Thicke, and a more atmospheric Musiq Soulchild. The beats hit surprisingly hard for such a gentle character, but we supposed it was his youthful nature bursting through.
Jamie Woon cleared the dirt off R’n’B, apparently heavily influenced by 90s acts such as Boyz 2 Men and Jodeci, it’s interesting the way he frays and smears the traditional tempo of the genre he’s drawn from and is unafraid to test our patience. Saying that, the Leeds crowd definitely appreciated his sugary basslines on the more upbeat numbers. The other tracks were kind of too good for a live performance; they kind of made us want some privacy with Mr Woon, but for that we’ll have to wait until early April for his album release.
Overall both acts will be driven into the future by their accomplishment of carrying their signature style and original music into a crowd pleasing track or remix that can take the radio’s week or month by storm. They’ll be rewarded with a wider audience, and we’ll get a unifying track that anchors the gig. So watch out for ‘In The Night Air’ by Jamie Woon and ‘Cash and Carry Me Home’ by Ghostpoet.