February 29, 2012 12:08

Willis Earl Beal plays sell-out debut UK show

Chicago man wows London as he kicks off his first UK tour

Willis Earl Beal plays sell-out debut UK show

Photo: Dan Kendall/NME

Willis Earl Beal played his first London show last night (February 28), packing out London's Power Lunches venue.

The Chicago singer wowed a sell-out crowd at the east London venue as he took to the stage without a band, performing his set a capella and backed only by a primitive backing track. On stage for around 40 minutes, Beal told the audience that his first trip to the UK felt like the start of a "new career".

The singer, who releases his debut album 'Acousmatic Sorcery' through new XL imprint Hot Charity on April 2, initially made his way to the stage by walking through the crowd, before sitting down until the venue's DJ had finished playing St Vincent's track 'Surgeon'. After that, he started his performance by singing a wildly different version of 'Wavering Lines' to the one that has become popular on the internet in recent months.

Towards the end of Beal's set, which was watched by musicians including The xx's Jamie Smith, he played three tracks on guitar, including debut single 'Evening's Kiss'. Following his performance he stayed onstage to have his photo taken by fans, with several of the crowd giving him letters as well as exchanging handshakes and hugs.

Willis Earl Beal is in the UK until mid-March, playing the following live dates:

Manchester Trof (March 2)
Leeds Nation of Shopkeepers (3)
London Notting Hill Arts Club (4)
London Victoria (9)
London Sebright Arms (13)

To check the availability of Willis Earl Beal tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0871 230 1094.

Pick up next week's issue of NME, which is on UK newsstands next Wednesday (March 7) or available digitally, for a full review on Beal's debut UK gig.

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