Samm Henshaw review: The Courtyard Theatre, HoxtonBy Editor
Truly soulful music is a rarity in today’s musical landscape and yet every now and then you hear a voice that truly harks back to when emotive music was paramount. The 21-year-old Samm Henshaw possesses such a voice, with song writing and instrumental skills to boot.
Having recently performed at Parklife Festival earlier this month, The Courtyard Theatre in Hoxton was the scene of Samm Henshaw’s debut headline show on June 16th. Selling out in advance and coming after James Bay revealed Samm would be opening his shows across Europe, there was a sense of anticipation and excitement amongst the crowd as it swelled to capacity.
Despite verbally announcing his astonishment at having such a rapturous crowd there solely for him, Samm and his gifted band, The Sound Experiment, were immediately at ease and in control of the room. Primarily showcasing unreleased songs from his forthcoming aptly named EP ‘The Sound Experiment’, they opened with the stomping ‘Going Down’- A hip-hop style beat that perfectly complemented Samm’s soaring vocals, which also featured some mesmeric guitar play.
Of course, some songs from the EP have been revealed and the piano ballad ‘Only Wanna Be With You’ was greatly received by a crowd crooning along to its stirring lyrics. Enlisting the help of talented female vocalist Jameela on the country-esque ‘Redemption’, Samm and The Sound Experiment then further demonstrated their entertaining camaraderie via some slick dance moves and improvised instrumentation during ‘Autonomy (Slaves)’.
But not before Samm’s notorious cover of One Direction’s ‘Best Song Ever’ - an ironic juxtaposition. After allowing his backing vocalist to shine with a cover of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Hotter Than July’, the show closed with choir like crowd participation as we were split into gender groups and given contrasting elements to sing - the result was spine-tingling and had a profound effect on Samm and the band themselves.
A dynamic encore brought about a bittersweet feeling that possibly proceedings had ended too early. However, it is of no doubt that all in attendance witnessed an extremely talented young man at the start of his journey. A young man who, given the correct platform, has a chance to remind many of the power of music born from passion; one can only dream.
Samm plays Islington's The Lexington on 22nd July 2015. Grab your ticket here.