Live Review: Westerman – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham 24.10.2022 Plus Gallery

Laura Misch starts the evening off and although you can sense her nerves on stage through her breathing, they don’t effect her voice at all. The crowd a silent – pin drop silent – and between the music filling the room and performance going on on stage, the support act feel more like an art exhibition than a gig. Laura‘s voice is absolutely gorgeous and you find yourself constantly getting lost in the sounds her & her band are creating. She clearly has a lot of passion for music making and her saxophone skills aren’t something I was expecting from this set. As her time on stage comes to an end, we feel as though we’ve had an insight into how spa music is made.

Taking to the stage a little later than expected, Westerman takes his seat and lets us know before starting that he will be “providing energy from a seated position due to a torn meniscus and only learning to walk again 10 days ago”. With this, a mix of grimaces and giggles make their way through the crowd and we’re into our first song ‘Outside‘. This has to be one of the most respectful crowds I’ve ever been a part of – there’s plenty of movement in the crowd and with every song Westerman manages to pulls the audience closer to the stage. There’s a charming clumsiness between tracks as he switches guitars but it seems to make the night even more humble (if that’s possible).

The room starts to gain some energy around song four ‘Big Nothing Glow‘ and it’s here that we’re treated to the 80’s synth pop, almost reminiscent of Hall & Oakes and Tears for Fears. ‘I Turned Away‘ is where the real fans start dancing. The atmosphere in the venue shifts but the 80’s music stays. ‘Think I’ll Stay‘ has to be the crowd favourite so far. This might not be the loudest audience or the most rambunctious but it’s a welcome change and seeing people here for a smaller artist definitely gives hope towards the future of live music and home-grown venues. Slightly further back into the room, there’s not much to see as Westerman & co are all sat thus making the sound even more important than usual and boy, do they deliver on the sound. I’m not sure how many artists would be able to hold a room’s attention when sat down and not being able to give a full performance but, if one thing is clear from this night, Westerman sure can.

His leg is clearly giving him grief as he comments “I didn’t think I’d finding myself wincing so much due to this leg” and stating he’d rather be standing up which receives a small cheer. The announcement of ‘Confirmations‘ receives a small cheer and takes us into a slightly darker sound for the evening though we’re soon brought back into the lighter stuff as we’re treated too ‘Easy Money‘ next. As a whole, the night is uneventful but thoroughly enjoyable; Westerman‘s crowd are dedicated and we’re there for a good time which they certainly got.

Previous Live Review: Cassia - o2 Institute, Birmingham 19.10.2022 Plus Gallery
Next Live Review: Paolo Nutini - o2 Academy, Birmingham 28.10.2022

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