Commanding a crowd can’t be an easy feat when you’re faced with a venue like the Brixton Academy and yet Samm Henshaw set out to perform ‘The Sound Experiment’ and made it sound damn near ‘Better’ than we expected.
Facing a near 5000 audience and a venue with the acoustic quality of Brixton’s finest, Sam didn’t appear intimidated but seemed to relish the opportunity to transcend the intimate feeling of his EP and draw the mainly female crowd even closer to him. Taking to the stage with his 4 piece band, Samm was scheduled as the one and only support for 4 nights only for the Californian crooner, Tori Kelly.
We’ve already become accustomed to intimate, unplugged, stripped down, acoustic performances from Samm, and critical acclaim seems assured but just doesn’t feel enough, when you’re living in an age where mainly white blues and soul singers are leading the British soul invasion abroad. The stark absence of black vocalists in the mainstream domain is nothing short of puzzling, yet making Samm the tokenistic poster boy to correct the imbalance would do his talent an injustice. Already clocking road mileage as support for James Bay in late 2015, Samm has proved he can woo and win audiences up and down the country on his own merit.
The clarity and pitch perfect highs of Samm delivering a louder and live performance of ‘Autonomy’, ‘Better’ and ‘Redemption’ has us believing that ‘The Sound Experiment‘ is winning Samm not only admirers but a league of believers as he turned the crowd to a choir in the Brixton Academy.
Next up, only winning listeners on radio can secure real ‘Redemption’ for Samm and put us on the road to a piece of mind when it comes to showcasing the spectrum of British soul music. Samm is an artist who’s got what it takes to stand in his own right and there’s no better time than now to lead us to a new and progressive wave of British Soul singers. Samm Henshaw just made me a true believer.