Monday, 18 October 2010

Seu Jorge bonds with Brazilians at The Roundhouse

Dressed in jeans, trainers and a hoodie, Brazilian musician Seu Jorge lithely bounced around the stage at London’s Roundhouse on Sunday night as if he were shooting an advertising campaign for Uniqlo. But instead, this super-cool artist (it’s incredible to think he turned 40 in June) was performing at the Camden venue for the first time in seven years. It wasn’t a flawless performance, but Seu Jorge bonded with Brazilian fans over Carolina and wowed the Brits with his Davie Bowie covers. A solid 6 out of 10.

The show really began about a quarter of the way through. As the crowd recognised the first notes of Carolina, fans came alive and, suddenly, under the dark red, purple and green lights of the main hall, you could pick the Brazilians out from the Brits. On a roll, Seu Jorge went on to charm the locals with his rendition of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and Life on Mars, sung – as in the film The Life Aquatic – in Portuguese. And his version of Michael Jackson’s Rock With You was just excellent; with subtle notes of bossa nova, Seu Jorge slowed it down, sexed it up and let his strong, silky voice do the talking. He should have done that more often. Towards the end of the session, it seemed Seu Jorge was losing the crowd, opting for more straightforward rock songs that focused too much on the skills of his band Almaz than on what the crowd had really come to hear: that voice. Interestingly, in an interview with Jungle Drums magazine, which was handed out to concert goers after the event, Seu Jorge admitted that “what is most recognised by the public is my voice, and not the rest. Nobody recognises Lucio on the guitar, Pupilo on the drums and Antonio on bass. Those are the elements that people are going to discover”. The problem was that, whilst Seu Jorge and the band were both excellent as individual performances, I’m not sure they complemented each other all that well, all the time.
But take a look at the video clip and see for yourself – and let me know your thoughts.

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