My obligatory fuzzy photo from the Plymouth leg of Kiwanuka 2022 is such poor quality that is been relegated to further down this post. I thought that I’d use the album cover as my main picture today. It’s not for the want of trying. It was rammed in the standing area even at the back. At one stage I nearly got a shot of the translucent ear of the bloke in front of us who enthusiastically snogged his girlfriend throughout the gig. The stage lighting was making it glow orange. In hindsight I should have taken the picture. It would have been funny.
I first came across Michael Kiwanuka after his third album came out. It blew me away. I predicted that the guy would be as big as Ed Sheeran. Yet, in spite of winning the Mercury Music Prize in 2020, lots of people haven’t heard of him. ‘Who?’ said my son Louis when I told him who we were going to see. He’s on the radar of my friend Red Mel though. She was just as excited when she heard him on Jools Holland’s Hooteananny, the show that brings in the New Year. She phoned to tell me that there was an artist that I absolutely needed to listen to. ‘Already onto it, love.’ I was able to reply.
Our original Kiwanuka 2022 tickets were for a date in 2019. But events dear boy got in the way. I think the gig got rescheduled three times. Was it worth the wait? Oh yes indeed. The musicianship was superb and we loved the lighting effects although someone with epilepsy might have disagreed. It was spacy! Michael Kiwanuka seems a shy chap. He rarely spoke to the audience aside to greet us and express appreciation for the support of his fellow musicians and the crowd. Instead the show was just crammed full of wonderful tracks from his albums performed with so much passion. We wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Here’s a song just in case you need to be introduced or reminded of the man himself.