Live Review: Sam Fender - Electric Brixton, London 28/02/2019
It’s an exciting time for Sam Fender. With an iconic gig at Tynemouth Castle just over the horizon, and a string of 2019 Festival performances on the way, there’s seemingly no stopping the Geordie boy on his unapologetic rampage of the UK music scene.
Opening with Millennial on this rather drizzly Thursday evening, Fender begins the night by smashing into heavy opening riff with the crowd erupting alongside set with flash and strobes. Giving us no break for a breather, Sam’s straight into another buzzy banger, When Will We Talk, which is definitely warming the room up on this rather chilly night. Taking a bit of a step back and turning on the hazy purple lights, we go into All Is On My Side, where the crowd erupts into a solid minute of clapping and screaming after that 3 song opener.
Taking a breather (literally - the poor lad is panting…), Sam notes that the album is nearly done, and has spent the last 2 months polishing and playing. Heavily backed by the likes of Annie Mac and Radio X, there’s no denying that he possesses a worldly talent that only few can emulate; and his rise to the top has so far been bulletproof.
Back to the tunes now. Going straight into the emotionally striking Dead Boys gets the entirety of London singing along. There’s something unique to Sam Fenders act other than the typical humble man with a guitar story. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s definitely some of that special stardust that comes about very rarely - and that was proven in his forever-climaxing song Start Again that featured up next. Finishing with his arguably biggest song, Play God, resulted in an explosive finale of iterating strobes and fiery backing lights that made the Newcastle-native look like a literal God.
Was that the end? Of course not. It’s rock n’ roll man.
Since encores are becoming fashionable again apparently, Sam ditches the band and comes out on his own. Starting off with the slow and steady love ballad that is Leave Fast, it’s suddenly easy to tell who’s here on dates or with friends. Looking around, a handful of couples slow dance and soak up the romantic vibes. Finally finishing off with a stripped back Poundshop Kardashians and That Sound, Sam Fender walks off stage and closes the night after a spellbinding performance that will be talked about for months to come.
Just kidding. Another encore.
Though, this time round, it just seems like Sam just couldn’t get enough of the crowd and didn’t want his magical night to end. Starting with Lose My Mind (which I can only assume is a to-be-released song) with the ever catchy chorus, “If Saturday don’t come soon, I’m gonna lose my mind.” (I’m with you on that one mate.) Eventually the entire crowd finally learns and sings along, with Sam erupting into a bundle of smiles. As it’s a special occasion, Sam explains, he says he’s going to play his favourite song - which is the one and only Bruce Springsteen, Dancing In The Dark.
To finish this utterly breathtaking night, Sam finishes with a rendition of the first song he ever wrote (which he notes will be on his debut album.) After-which, the crowd erupts into an applause like no other as he finally calls it a night. It’s going to be a big year for Sam and no matter where he goes from here, he deserves every little bit of love and applause we can give the Geordie lad.
Words and photography by Jordan Logan
Sam Fender recently featured on the cover of our first edition of our print magazine which you can pick up here, featuring exclusive pictures of the Newcastle indie-rocker. A limited edition print from the shoot can also be picked up!