Aaron West delivers a personal and unforgettable evening to an adoring, sold-out London crowd.
When Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties burst onto the scene in 2014 with the incredible Our Apartment, there were probably very few people who would have predicted that Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell’s solo project would be where it is in 2019. A combination of method acting, melancholic heartbreak and exhaustingly detailed lyricism, Aaron West is not just a performance at this point, he is a person that people care about. Now, in front of a sold-out London crowd, it was time to check in with the protagonist and hear his story live and in the flesh.
With support coming from the incredibly talented Lizzy Farrell and cult-hero Rob Lynch, the entire population of The Garage in Highbury was suitably warmed up by the time the evening’s headliner took to the stage. Just Sign the Papers, one of the highlights of 2019 release Routine Maintenance, was tasked with opening proceedings – and despite the song’s delicate, and somewhat dark lyrics, it was a great way to bring the room together.
What happened from here was nothing short of incredible. Classics such as Our Apartment and Grapefruit erupted and were delivered with phenomenal emotion. What’s more, the new additions from the setlist were well received, with Routine Maintenance and God and the Billboards – as well as that cover of The Mountain Goat’s Going to Georgia – acting as takeaway moments from the show.
Songs such as 67 Cherry Red and Rosa and Reseda injected passion in the crowd and sparked throat-rasping shouts from everyone in the room. Moreover, Bloodied Up in a Bar Fight and Orchard Park filled the hearts of those in attendance with wonder and warmth. Campbell never broke character and the personality of West was not only admirable but quick and witty. The professionalism of this performance made the £15 entry an utterly undisputed bargain.
The evening was brought to a close by Winter Coats – a song that feels to cycle through every emotion – and the gut-wrenching Divorce and the American South. 600 strong, The Garage burst to life one more time to help West leave the troubles of his divorce behind. Every single note of the setlist was relentlessly sung back at the stage with an intensity that electrified the room, so much so that Campbell had to continually request his monitors be turned up and readily take the time to step back from the microphone to admire the room.
There is nothing more freeing, healing, or special than standing in a room with hundreds of people to sing along with an adoring artist and this evening, in particular, was only intensified by the aura of Aaron West and the incredible personality that lives inside his music.