London's Shepherd's Bush Empire, November 20, 2018
Some time over the last year, Tom Misch exploded. From having a small army of avid fans, he now finds himself selling out Brixton Academy, twice. After a massive string of European tour dates, the South Londoner took a trip north of of the river to headline and curate one of War Child’s Safe & Sound shows. The trio of gigs held at Shepherd’s Bush Empire raise money for charity, and promise outstanding live performances.
Decking out Shepherd’s Bush Empire with his trademark disco ball, double drum-kit and the rest of his five-piece band snugly nestled on stage, Misch amped things up with the addition of an elaborate light-show. This was an artist here to impress.
And from the moment his backing band played the first lines of De La Soul collaboration, ‘It Runs Through Me’, the sold-out crowd were in for something special. Sauntering onstage, the multi-instrumentalist looked completely at home. Blitzing through his impressive back catalogue, Misch hopped between tunes from his debut record ‘Geography’, and older fan favourites from mixtapes and EPs. The unreleased (but 19 million YouTube view boasting) FKJ collab ‘Losing My Way’ saw fans singing back every word, whilst 2016’s ‘I Wish’ was a blissful respite.
“I’ve got so many guests for you: tonight is crazy!” Misch told the crowd, and he wasn’t lying. Throughout the 90-minute set, the revolving door of guest artists didn’t stop. Fellow south Londoner Poppy Ajudha hopped on stage for the strutting ‘Disco Yes’, Barney Artist revved up the crowd during his interlude and old pal Zak Abel joined for Misch’s early banger ‘Beautiful Escape’. Keeping it in the family, Misch’s two sisters also made appearances: Laura during ‘Follow’ (as well as being the support act for the show) and Polly during ‘Movie’. Filled with camaraderie and collaboration, this was a unique kind of show. With an audience full of hardcore Misch stans hoping for a few surprises, he didn’t disappoint and they lapped up every last one.
While guest appearances at a Tom Misch show might be the norm, it’s not often you get the full house. Saxophonist Rob Araujo rarely joins Misch live, but appeared for ‘Day 4: Everybody Get Down’ and Jordan Rakei stunned when he appeared for the scarcely performed live ‘Wake Up This Day’. And of course there were roars of appreciation for everybody’s favourite, Loyle Carner, who dazzled with charming versions of ‘Water Baby’ and ‘Crazy Dream’.
Finishing with an encore of ‘Lost in Paris’ (with the stage lighting up in the colour of the French flag), and ‘Watch Me Dance’ Tom Misch thanked the crowd and War Child before sauntering of stage off stage for the last time in 2018. What a way to end a remarkable year: we’ll be seeing more of this guy, that’s for sure.
Tom Misch played:
It Runs Through Me
Losing My Way
Disco Yes (with Poppy Ajudha)
Day 4: Everybody Get Down (feat. Rob Araujo)
Wake Up This Day (with Jordan Rakei)
Movie (with Polly Misch)
Water Baby (with Loyle Carner with and Rob Araujo)
Crazy Dream (with Loyle Carner)
Colours of Freedom
Follow (with Laura Misch)
Beat Medley (with Barney Artist)
Beautiful Escape (with Zak Abel)
South of the River (with Rob Araujo)
Lost in Paris
Watch Me Dance