Loyle Carner Stuns O2 Academy, 02.11.19

Having worked his way up persistently in local Leeds venues, Loyle Carner took his place on the O2 Academy stage, and it’s been a long time coming. As he delved into his near faultless body of work, so came a show that will go down in history amongst fans.

There was a genuine benevolence as Carner committed to a narrative that left the crowd living vicariously through his powerful words and even more impressive production; the latter was perhaps the highlight of the show. Each sentiment that he brazenly shared was deepened through use of bass and heavier beats than what you’d find on his recorded counterparts – with it even transcending them. This distinction is what made this live experience differ from many other acts.

With his tales of facing adversity with a fortitude that – when looking at the demographic of his listeners – can only mean positive progression of mindset, it was hard to not feel inspired by the energy and commitment he brought to the set, continually bouncing around the stage with overtness. He is a symbol of youth and his voice is a breath of fresh air, and this translated thoroughly through warm lighting hues and audience engagement, making him a live performer for a generation looking to embrace a new sound.

The show left a sense of reverence in the air; unlike the usual casual trail of people exiting, there was a moment where the air grew thick with solidarity as we all felt the gentle hum of talent leave the stage, having imparted that gift unto us.

Photos by Tom Weatherilt