Words: Euan Tait.
On a historic night for Scotland, the date of the much-debated Referendum, Luke Sital-Singh demonstrated his talents at The Pleasance Theatre in Edinburgh. Those in attendance would be wowed by the appearance in the Scottish capital as part of his headline UK tour.
Firstly, there were two support acts who performed acoustically and made for mixed feelings in the lead-up to Luke’s arrival. 20 year old Stella Reilly brought some local and vocal power to the stage and despite a pitchy guitar, she seemed to get the audience interested.
Karima Francis appeared onstage in darkness before the lights gave us a closer look at her wonderful head of hair. Immediately her impressive vocals astounded and you could feel the emotion of some of the more intense songs. An avid fan named Kevin whom Karima had met on previous occasions and a rude audience member who exclaimed “I wanna hear some Elvis” proved that audience participation should not always be acceptable in gig settings such as this. Despite this, Karima’s lyrics shone as she performed without the backing of a band. Before finishing with slightly upbeat ‘Perfect Dream’ she wished the crowd “good luck tonight, I hope it all works out alright” with sincerity that remained as we waited on this morning’s referendum result.
Luke Sital-Singh walked silently on and began with ‘I Have Been A Fire’ which appeared on his first EP yet still managed to make it onto his debut album The Fire Inside which was released only last month on August 18th. The song’s quiet and effortless beginnings culminated in a powerful display of Sital-Singh’s sheer talent before moving on to ‘Greatest Lovers’ which was released as a single earlier this year. His interaction with the audience did not disappoint either, he kept referring to an idea he mentioned early on in the set of a festival he would make named “Depressed-tival” as he loves playing to quiet audiences so much. A sign that perhaps his numerous festival appearances this summer did not compare to playing for people who respect that his music deserves polite silence.
The heartfelt lyrics and beautiful melodies of ‘Honest Man’ from his Fail For You EP really stood out. The line “then my eyes eclipse and it all goes dark” was made humorous as Luke recounted the story of a label showcase and an over-efficient lighting guy. Album tracks ‘21st Century Heartbeat’ and ‘Cornerstone’ featured among others. Most of the time Luke was alone with his guitar, however he was accompanied by Paul Steel on bass and the odd backing vocals for some songs. It added an extra element when necessary. ‘Nothing Stays The Same’ and ’Bottled Up Tight’ were another two highlights, probably two of Sital-Singh’s most well-known songs having both been gained media attention by the likes of Radio 1. Reflection after final song ‘Fail For You’ determined that Luke was more than worthy of his place in the BBC Sound of 2014 longlist.
The night that followed ended up being a long one, but Luke Sital-Singh left the audience content.