Oh look, it's friendly Will Young.
I post this slightly odd image (what other famous person would be photographed at a rather serious museum opening but Will, I ask you?) because my photo of the concert I saw of his two weeks ago isn't great. To be fair, I wasn't feeling very well. Slightly feverish if I am being honest, and I just wasn't possessed of the wherewithall to snap away merrily using merely my iPhone in the way I did when I saw Coldplay on Monday. More on that shortly, by the way.
Anyway, here is the rather meaningless concert photo:
See what I mean?
I think that bright light is probably Will.
Anyway, the concert was at the Roundhouse in Camden. Amy Winehouse-land. I must admit to not having been there before, but despite reservations (North London always fills me with such irrational dread), and said fever, I attended. And it was a very civilised venue too. I had a huge brandy before the show to steady me in my hour of need. This may seem unremarkable, but I actually went into a half-decent gay bar a couple of weeks ago and they didn't actually have a bottle of brandy amongst an otherwise pretty decent spirits selection. Blue Aftershock, yes! Brandy, no. Rubbish!
The Roundhouse itself is also a lovely wooden thing. One part Shakespeare's Globe, one part Royal Horticultural Society shop and café. Perfect for Will. It had the most fantastic acoustics - a rich glorious sound compared to anything outdoor or barn-like.
Now, I have seen Will Young sing before a few times. These are:
• at the birthday party of a mutual friend, just after he won Pop Idol
• at Kenwood House in Hampstead in one of their Picnic Concerts
• at that BBC Proms in the Park thing last summer
So, though I have good form in terms of seeing him sing live, I can't say I have been to one of his tours or anything. And I was anxious to remedy this, not least because I love his music, again and again, and I think he's fantastic. I think he's done big production tours before. Wembley Arena type stuff, with backdrops and costumes and what-not, so I was almost a little surprised at how completely low-fi the show at the Roundhouse was. He changed outfit for the encore, but basically it was him, some good lighting, his band and a bunch of absolutely faultless songs. That's not such a bad thing really. Perhaps the hanging video screens, costumed dancers and pyrotechnics of modern big pop shows would have distracted from the rather simple minimal, almost barefoot nature of his songs these days.
Either way, his fans certainly didn't mind. Who the heck were these people, by the way? Well, there were a few gays. A few. Not many. By and large they looked like thoroughly charming well-to-do folk of a huge disparity of ages. A real (Hampstead) dentist's waiting room. In front of us were two defiantly heterosexual chaps who had come along together. One of them sang along. And, yes, he was definitely straight. Quite bizarre. There was an older lady or two there. They love Will too. I guess everyone does. Even famous people. Lily Allen, Henry Holland, Agyness Deyn and Nick Grimshaw were all present. The tres cool elite. It was all getting a bit Shoreditchy.
The songs and performance thereof were perfection though. SM who was with me hadn't heard the new record at all and was blown away. I guess they really have the wind behind them when sung live and particularly Let it go, I won't give up, Grace and Changes sounded completely up there with anything from Friday's Child or Keep On. He did quite a lot of those songs too - never missing a chance to sing a hit like Your game or Who am I. We were a little despondent that All time love wasn't on the set list, but it was a minor gripe in otherwise great evening.
And at the end, I felt much better. So it's official. Will Young: he sings, he dances, he acts, he cures all ills.