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Review: Miguel @ Islington Assembly Hall, London

His soulful voices meets rock at this stunning London venue.

Miguel enters the stage at London’s beautiful Islington Assembly Hall to stand in front of a live band. The guitar riffs echo around the venue, suitably melodramatic in their retro vibe. The drum beats reverberate with a matching force.

It provides an unusual backdrop for Miguel’s otherwise soulful sound, giving him a distinctive rocky edge. A foundation that’s bubbled under the surface on his newer material, it doesn’t overpower his sound. Instead it presents his music in a new light, one that carries the vibrancy and the eclectic nature of his sound perfectly.

 

But it’s his voice that shines the brightest. Underneath the grandeur of the band, Miguel delivers his smooth tones with notable ease. Each word emerges through his unrelenting smile. He’s clearly enjoying himself, donned in camouflage that represents his forthcoming full-length War & Leisure. As he explains the album’s theme, in part finding the joys in an otherwise turbulent time, the two conflicting words adequately describe his balance between the poignant and the fun.

Lyrically, Miguel takes the same stance. The sultry Coffee, the upbeat Waves and recent single Sky Walker showcase his sexy and frivolous side. Elsewhere, he delves into extended epics, jumping inside his own insecurities and concerns over the state of the world. Both are delivered with a characteristic charm, much to the crowd’s delight.

 

It’s representative of a broad career in which Miguel has dabbled in various musical styles. In a live setting, he combines them all for a uniquely captivating performance. War & Leisure looks set to follow suit, and a return to the UK with more new material looks set to further cement his atypical style.

Follow Miguel on Ticketmaster.co.uk to be one of the first to know when he’s set to return to the UK.

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