THOMAS COHEN- Moth Club. 7th March 2016.

9 03 2016

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Prior to the show on Monday, the only solo show Thomas Cohen had done was his slot at the Village Underground last month as part of the PIAS Nights. His set was short but enough to make you believe that his debut solo record will not only blow our minds but it will also expand them. The hypnotic sounds and his magnetising voice make for an ideal combination for those who don’t mind going down the escape route from time to time. How did his first headline show work out? Pretty damn well. If you’ve ever been to the Moth Club you’ll probably have spent a lot of time gazing at the glittered and gold ceiling. The PA (a playlist chosen by Thomas) blasts out In The Navy, Dancing Queen and Freedom (George Michael.) The perfect songs to set your Monday night around.

Before his set he joined the support band (Blueprint Blue- which consist of Melissa and Hew from S.C.U.M) on stage for an exceptional cover of Beast Of  Burden by the Rolling Stones. Lyrically it is one of my favourite songs by the Rolling Stones and it’s one of the first ones I remember hearing. My dad used to play Brown Sugar by the Rolling Stones- I don’t have many memories of him but I’m always able to connect music to most things. Blueprint Blue and Thomas did an exceptional version of this song, and I was left convinced that THEY had written it. It didn’t feel like a cover. Thomas moved on stage like a young Mick Jagger but with more attitude. He oozed a wealth of infectious confidence that left you wishing you could dance and sing like this. The way he was singing “Am I rough enough?” and moving his body in a demanding and charming manner made you really think that the song was written by him. He made it is own, and that’s what anyone should do when covering a song.

Thomas took to the stage in a gorgeous floral print suit. I normally don’t care for what a musician wears, but on Monday night I made an exception because I really don’t get how anyone could not be in awe of such a stunning outfit. His set consisted of songs from his debut record, Bloom Forever which is out  in May. By no means did it feel strange for Thomas to play his first headline show on Townes Van Zandt’s birthday, he has stated in recent interviews that he is someone he has listened to whilst making the record and taken some inspiration from. Much like Townes he gets to the core of a feeling, takes you with him and doesn’t let you do. I think for most Country Home is the song that really hits the audience. The vulnerability of love and life, and all that happens in between and after is captured perfectly in this song. It is hard to listen to, especially when you know what it is about- but Thomas does it in such a beautiful way, the sadness doesn’t hit you as hard as you would expect.

On stage and on record, Thomas makes you listen. On stage you cannot help but look at him in awe of how captivating he is. When he was in S.C.U.M, I remember seeing them play the Sugarmill in Stoke. There was no more than 20 of us there. It was an eerie show and it reinforced my love for the band. The music was otherworldly, and on his own Thomas manages to still have that about him. There is something about him and his music that just draws you in. The music delicate and the fragility in the songs is one of the many things that keep you hooked. His gentle hand gestures as he sings make you feel calm, as if he’s reassuring you that all is okay. Everything can and will be alright. The last song they play (forgive me, I’ve forgotten the name!) is possibly their loudest number in the set and as Thomas lets go as he plays his guitar, you just know that this is something truly, truly special.

After seeing both his live shows, it is fair to say that Bloom Forever is going to be a record to treasure, to love and to possibly use as a guide. His eloquent and thoughtful way with words makes you see things in a way you may never have done before. This poignant record is to be adored whilst listening on your own in your room, and to be celebrated at his live shows.

Bloom Forever is released on 6th May via Stolen Recordings, and you can pre-order a copy here: https://stolenrecordings.officialstore.co.uk/Shop/PhysicalDetails?pid=SRD_PH_55

 





THOMAS COHEN. Village Underground-25th January 2016.

25 01 2016

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A few years ago I had a massive obsession with the band S.C.U.M. I thought the name was brilliant, I loved their mysterious sound and ended up with a collection of their b-sides/demos. They took you on some whirlwind and hypnotic trip. Then they broke up. My head can never get itself round a band calling time, so I sulked and played their record regardless. Quite a bit of time has passed since then, and this evening front-man Thomas Cohen took to the stage at the Village Underground for his first ever show as a solo artist.

Only a fool would compare his old band to what he is doing now. What he is doing now is ethereal, brooding and sublime. He manages to take you on this almost spiritual journey that’s hard to come by in others. There is something truly special here, maybe it’s because it’s his first ever show. Maybe he doesn’t know how great he is. Hopefully in time he will. As I gazed at the stage, I was in awe of the sound Thomas and his band were creating. This is the kind of music that HAS to be heard. Whether it be on stage like this or an intimate setting- on your own in your room, it is just a divine sound that has been born.
He has a gorgeous and delicate stage presence that almost makes you feel as if what you are watching isn’t meant to be in front you. It feels entirely precious, but you can really feel and sense what it means for Thomas to be on the stage with his band to perform these songs including the title track of his debut record, Bloom Forever which I believe was written the day his son was born. If you listen carefully to the lyrics, you can pick up on this. Whilst listening to these songs this evening, you can really feel the love in the songs and the devotion that has been poured into them. There’s no denying just how talented he is- not just as a singer and musician, but as a writer. His words are beautiful and they truly feel like poetry.
As far as debut live shows go, this is one I think a lot will remember. The songs really do take you on a mystical journey. The journey feels safe, although you don’t know where you are going. It feels familiar, but you’re still a little unsure. I’ve got every confidence that Bloom Forever will be one of my favourite records of the year and will be an utterly captivating debut record that I’ll treasure.

 

I firmly believe that when you see a band or singer live, it should leave you wanting to make something of your own or to even see things differently. Thomas Cohen did both this evening. A feeling you usually get from seeing a band you are in love with for the billionth time, Thomas has captured in an instance. This set what just a hint of what is to come. The songs make you feel like you’ve been dreaming all of your life, and you’re waking up to something better
Hopefully Thomas will tour his record, Bloom Forever which is out in May on the equally brilliant Stolen Recordings. The songs are delicate, open and simply beautiful. He allows you to take the words and make them your own. Entirely selfless and so far from indulgent, these songs will own a special place in your heart when you need to go some place tranquil and sacred.