Live Review: Adam French @ The Basement, York 26/01/16

On the final leg of his first UK tour French brought calm and tonality to the intimate evening setting, writes



Rating:  ★★★★☆

Adam French’s first headline UK tour drew to a close at the Basement, York, on Tuesday and it was quite the final show! French didn’t allow the small size of the venue to stop him from absolutely belting out an assortment of original songs with sheer emotion and vigour. His style worked really effectively in this kind of intimate setting. However, by that I don’t care to suggest that French is at all limited to this sort of scene by any means. He’s already performed at Reading and Leeds Festival in 2014 and I expect even bigger things to come in this brilliant artist’s future!

French comes from a small town called Congleton in Cheshire, which is coincidentally where I also hail from. I had listened to his music online before, but hearing it performed live was another thing entirely! Unlike many artists of today, there truly is no discrepancy between the quality of Adam’s recorded material and what you get when he performs it live. His vocals were consistently on point and to his credit as a solo artist, he managed to diversify his set by switching between guitar, keyboard and bass guitar between songs, without showing any shortcomings or preferences for any instrument. Each of his original songs brought something new to the table and had its own merits to stand on.

A personal favourite of mine has to be ‘Punch-bag Love’. Between the beautiful keyboard melody, the fantastic lyrics and Adam’s iconic raw vocals, the track is an emotionally charged anthem of love and endurance. Once again, hearing the song performed live added an entirely other level of impact to what is already a powerful track.

Another one of French’s songs that I am particularly fond of is ‘More to Life’. This is probably his most upbeat track and makes for a good, chilled listening experience. The lyrics pose a question that many of us have probably thought about many of times: why are we doing the mundane things that we do when there’s so much more to life out there for the taking? With a good message, a catchy chorus and an uplifting beat, ‘More to Life’ leaves very little to be desired.

Of course, by singling out these two tracks, that doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with the rest of French’s music. In fact it’s quite the opposite! ‘Ivory’, ‘Hunter’ and ‘Silhouettes’ are brilliant in their own right and were all perfectly executed on the night. Honestly, I don’t believe that there’s a weak link in the bunch. Adam’s music is always well constructed and tonally pleasing.

As an artist, French seemed to have strike the perfect between confidence and humility. Not only did he perform his track ‘Silhouettes’ due to the request of a fan on social media earlier that evening, but he also performed an encore of the track that it had replaced within his intended set list. Furthermore, when there were a few disturbances from the audience at various points in the evening, French handled the situation like a true professional. A simple ‘shut the f**k up’ was enough to quell the noise whilst also keeping the situation light-hearted and enjoyable for everyone involved. On the whole the general mood of the evening was quite relaxed and casual, stemming much from the tonal quality of tracks and also from Adam’s own comfortability with performing them on stage.

Adam French is certainly an artist to keep your eye on. His music is perfect for an easy listening session and lends itself perfectly to a calm and chilled-out live performance. If you haven’t listened to him before, I would definitely recommend checking him out, whether that’s live or just simply on Spotify and iTunes. He has a bright future and I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear a lot more of his music in the future.

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