The last time I saw Anderson East it was just him and an acoustic guitar but last night he brought over his whole band to London; Philip Towns on keys, Jon Murray on bass; Darren Dodd on drums; a beautiful horn section; and last but definitely not least, Scotty Murray on electric guitar – “the moustache shaper”, one of the more tamer introductions to this Arizonian guitar virtuoso.
It was an up close and personal show for both the audience and the band who, at times, looked like they were about to burst forth into the audience with their electric performance. We even got to witness some Anderson/Scotty on stage acrobatics during the penultimate song of the set, ‘Satisfy Me’. You could not accuse these boys of not giving their all to the music or the audience; heart, body and soul.
After a somewhat reserved start, Anderson and his band had the audience getting down to the music in a way that would have made James Brown proud. Coats and jumpers were peeled off; hair got messy and tangled; and by the end sweatiness was an after thought. Most live shows don’t guarantee an afterglow. This one did.
The show focused on the louder and groovier elements of Anderson’s debut album ‘Delilah’. However, that is not to say the show was all happy-go-lucky and light on substance and real feeling. Anderson’s performance was full of longing and ache, which poured through on ‘Devil In Me’, and his regret and inner turmoil was evident on the track ‘Lonely’; a song that speaks for all those “if only” moments we’ve all experienced in our lives.
‘Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em and Forget ‘Em’, ‘Satisfy Me’ and the Prince classic ‘I would Die 4 U’, which Anderson turned on its’ head and made his own, were just some of the moments where the energy on stage ran like an electric current through the audience making you stand a little straighter, smile a little wider, and dance a little harder.