‘The wait is no more’ was the mindset of many as we patiently queued in suspense outside The Marble Factory, Bristol. As the line dwindled attendee after attendee, I became closer and closer to seeing the British electronic, soulful musician Sampha play for the first time.
Most people have taken to the Young Turks signee through his numerous collaborations, too name a few; Jessie Ware, Drake, SBTRKT and recently Solange Knowles. But tonight was about Sampha’s solo outings. It was time to revel in his mesmerising vocal composition and his passionate playing of the piano.
The alluring poetic sounds of Plastic 100 touched down in the audience’s souls. It was an unambiguous song to start with because of the records emphasis on Sampha’s talent. His polished vocals and trademark piano skills warmed up the ears of the listener for what was to come.
Sampha’s careful consideration for the soothing sounds of the future soul could be the reason for his ‘go with the flow’ attitude to unveiling his latest project ‘Process,’ but none the less it was a privilege to watch him perform songs from it; one in particular ‘Timmy’s Prayer’. “The sunsets when you’re not there” the raw vulnerability of the lyrics and his humble stage presence made for an intimate delivery of the song and an unforgettable one.
In tradition Sampha’s vocals are associated with composure and tranquillity there is never a sense of turbulence in his music. Until Blood On Me, my previous thoughts were gospel when describing Sampha’s sound. It’s in this record Sampha’s breaks his norms and acts out slightly in the transmission of his vocals. The tinny drums and calculated loops of the hi-hat injected a desirable pace to his live show.
Closing show was always going to be a difficult task because though I heard wanted to listen to the audience, and I still, had an undeniable desire for more. As the dimmed synths of ‘Without’ from his Dual Ep induced a feeling of nostalgia in the air, it was the dazzling sounds of street drums and Sampha’s refined vocals that warmed the hearts of many for the last time that evening.
Though audience thought the show was over it wasn’t. He came back out for an encore, in these final precious moments he delivered two more songs, the most notable being ‘No One Knows Me (Like The Piano)’. The crisp rendition of the song may not be the final version as he described, though it was still and endearing composition. The song if anything confirmed the rumours of the album’s greatness and will undoubtedly be a classic going forward.
Sampha is clearly a formidable vocalist and unquestionably a great pianist. All I can wish for is that process meets the expectation Sampha’s talents have set thus far.