If you get the opportunity to see Connor Adams live, go see him live. I know I’ve just given away the bottom line of my review in the first paragraph, but I’m just so enthusiastic after having attended his recent gig at Jerwood Dance House.
Celebrating the release of his new record, Open My Eyes, Connor returned to his hometown of Ipswich to take the stage with a killer combination of Nic Keeble from Reno & Rome on lead guitar, Bronwyn Cooper from Underline the Sky on keyboard and backups vocals, Alex Lenton on bass and Ben Brennan on drums.
From the opening song, I was already a fan. Connor’s vocals are at some points soothing, at others ever so slightly gritty, but always passionate. And strong, too. I could see him carrying his voice well in an acoustic setup, simply by the odd interaction with the crowd off-mic (who, by the way, were creating a great atmosphere – it seems Connor has already amassed a very lively following).
His lyrics tell tales of love: fledging love, fleeting love, lost love and love that drives you crazy. It’s heavy stuff, and he’s guilty of making me feel a little reflective, but he stopped me from tipping over the edge with the more dynamic rhythms in his song Since You Came Around. It’s a driving tune, for sure.
Adventure had to be my favourite song of the evening, fuelling my wanderlust with choruses about Hawaii, Jamaica and Alaska over a mellow chord progression and steady beat. I’ve already added it to a Spotify playlist, along with Open My Eyes, with its racing refrain and made-for-stadiums hook.
To my delight, Connor added in a couple of anthems from Fleetwood Mac, including a rendition of The Chain which sent the audience into a frenzy, and I couldn’t help but grin when they played Shania Twain’s Man! I Feel Like a Woman – yes, this really happened.
I have to give extra props to the band, especially Nic who blew me away with his face-melting solos. The whole format worked so well, and literally everyone had fun. Connor Adams is one to watch.