Luke Sital-Singh‘s latest album is the superb Dressing Like a Stranger, released earlier this month. Fresh from supporting Passenger on tour, he has just started a run of twelve headline shows across the UK, through September and October. The second date, at The 1865 venue in Southampton, saw a captivated, silent audience enjoying his accomplished guitar and piano playing and stunning vocal. This was an intimate, seated show, with a stripped back live lounge feel, encouraging conversations with the audience, and giving humorous anecdotes and observations throughout. After the first song, informing the audience, “If you’ve not seen me play before… it doesn’t get any better than this, sorry”. His conversation between songs was heartfelt and honest, telling us of the nervousness of touring with a new album, striving for improvement, hoping that the new songs are better than the older ones. Then asking us “if you could clap louder for the new songs, that would be great, I’ll let you know when its a new song”.
One of the highlights was his song “Call Me When You Land”, a collaboration with Old Sea Brigade, a song with over 23 million Spotify streams. From the new album, highlights included “Me & God”, a superb song about faith and doubt, and “Rather Be” a love song about wanting to be nowhere else but with the one you love when the world is falling apart. Before playing “Greatest Lovers”, Luke told us its one of the few happy songs he’s written, and its about his wife, and its a beautiful, refreshingly heartfelt love song.
Main support was from Joni, a friend Luke had made since moving to America four years ago. Also providing a captivating performance, alone onstage with guitar, the audience were pin-drop silent, and she thanked them for their attentiveness.
Joni told us she had been through “a shitty breakup last year”, and for some reason considered calling him on his birthday. She stopped herself and instead wrote a song about him and posted it on instagram. It’s called “Birthday”, it mentioned his actual birth day, “not exactly subtle” she says, laughing. Its a superb song. Another highlight of the show was her final song, currently unreleased, called “Still Young”, written for her sister.
Starting the show was Rick Leigh, performing several stripped back songs on piano, including from his EP Easier, released earlier this year.