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Review: John Smith at The Waterfront Studio in Norwich

John Smith performing at The Waterfront Studio in Norwich. Photo: Danielle Booden

John Smith performing at The Waterfront Studio in Norwich. Photo: Danielle Booden

Danielle Booden

South Devon singer-songwriter John Smith, with support from American singer Will Stratton, treated The Waterfront Studio to an intimate night of fantastic music.

John Smith, English folk guitarist and singer from Devon. Photo: John SmithJohn Smith, English folk guitarist and singer from Devon. Photo: John Smith

New to the works of John Smith, early impressions were good from hearing some of the tracks from his latest album ‘Headlong’ on Spotify.

With a total of five albums under his belt and a lot of experience with touring, hopes were high that the night would provide both great entertainment and more primarily, captivating songs and musicianship.

From the moment he walked on stage, the room seemed enveloped by his friendly and calming demeanour. Striking up humorous conversation with the audience from the offset proved very popular with the crowd.

John has an uncanny ability to put a room completely at ease within seconds which was really nice to see and doesn’t usually come until further into other musicians/bands setlists.

The show started with a few songs played just by John and his guitar. He worked his way around the fret board like a seasoned professional mixing in complex finger-picking sequences with unusual and edgy chord changes.

Within the first few songs he had showcased his finely-tuned raspy vocals that effortlessly interchanged between soft and delicate low tones and higher notes in which he had no trouble reaching.

Having warmed up the crowd nicely, he brought on stage two of his closest friends/band members to add yet another layer to the already soulful sound that was unravelling.

Occasionally they were almost unnoticeable which in itself displayed just how experienced they are at playing together. The added backing vocals, guitar and double bass provided extra depth which blended seamlessly in with John’s refreshing melodies.

Switching it between acoustic/electric guitars and solo/full band performances, we were treated to an array of songs about love, life and loss. There was a track that everyone seemed able relate to on an emotional level which resulted in frequent pin-drop silence as we were taken on a journey of complete artistic excellence.

It was fantastic to see a musician in which it seems to come so naturally to and who has the crowd hanging on his every word, dying to hear what joke he will crack next between songs.

I would highly recommend taking a few moments out of your day to check out John Smith. You won’t be disappointed!

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