Homeshake // Live Review & Photoset

23rd May | Fiddlers

Photos: Naomi Williams

Walking through a dark alley to Homeshake’s gig, I felt shrouded in a cloud of unassuming mystery. I was attending a gig of a Canadian man whom none of my friends had heard of in a venue that 1) I’d never been to 2) was former jail and 3) was in a random back street in Bedminster. Sure, I’d listened to Homeshake’s albums for years but there was still a curious air surrounding the evening.

I didn’t know who the support acts were, what the crowd would be like or even where the entrance to the venue was. So, as you can imagine, when I turned the corner into desolate street and heard dance/electro-pop blaring from what looked to be an eccentric but rather beautiful warehouse, I wondered if I was in the right place.

Normally I have a problem with DJs as support acts. The transition from a DJ/clubbing atmosphere to an indie gig vibe has always felt particularly unnatural to me, but after walking into the gig to find DJ Taye bouncing about on stage, I’m an utter convert. Rapping, mixing, dancing and interacting the crowd, he shook us from our drowsy post-work sleep. He was exactly the kind of support act every band needs, as talented as he was enthusiastic (I accosted him as he was leaving to tell him as much). His performance got us decidedly hyped for the main act.

Then the man of the hour, Homeshake, walked onto the stage without a word and started playing. To my delight, he sounded exactly like his albums, remarkable considering his voice reaches soprano levels throughout his discography, and all my synth-pop dreams were finally coming true. Playing classics like ‘Every Single Thing’, ‘Give it to Me’ and ‘Call Me Up’, his gorgeous, silky voice and demure demeanour lulled everyone into a zen-like state. There was a calming presence to his performance and the peculiar yoga stretches the band kept doing in-between songs only made the whole thing feel even more bizarrely spiritual.

As the night drew to a close, he finally uttered some words in his beautiful Canadian accent, telling the crowd he was really unwell – feverish and struggling with his voice. This was the biggest surprise of the night because you couldn’t tell at all. Leaving the venue in a blissful sleepwalking state, all I could think was ‘Pete, if that’s your voice when you’re ill, what on Earth is it like when you’re well?’ Humming his songs as I walked, I felt thankful that I’d been granted two hours free from reality, swapping the harsh real world for one man’s heavenly voice and a bunch of new yoga moves.

See the video for ‘Nothing Could Be Better’ here: