This cat’s got soul. Taking the stage in front of a packed house, U.K. singer-songwriter Alex Clare launched into “Relax My Beloved,” that stirring voice with just the amount of grit shining bright (though the sound in the venue could have been a bit louder). The set included nearly every song from his album The Lateness of the Hour, but Clare also delivered new material as promised. The stand-out “Three Hearts,” proved that any forthcoming album will be strong.
“This is the first song I learned to play on the guitar,” Clare said, as he presented a cover of Lead Belly’s “Goodnight Irene.” Also throwing it back some in music history, Clare and his backing band busted out with a dubstep-y version of “When Doves Cry” by Prince, though the majority of the crowd didn’t seem to recognize it—not because it was such a variance from the original but perhaps they were just too young. Enthusiastically applauding after each song, the crowd finally started to dance around during “Up All Night,” and then expectedly went apeshit when Clare saved his most recognizable hit, “Too Close,” for the next to last song, ultimately closing out with the song he wrote for his now wife, “Won’t Let You Down.” ★★★★☆