Live Review: Tony Njoku – Montague Arms, London

Once in a while, an artist will come to you and you just have no words but a feeling. Tony Njoku is one such artist who crossed my path in the finals for emerging artists to play a festival slot at Green Man Festival’s Rising Stage last year. I was rooting for a completely different artist but then Njoku basically blew the room away with his psychedelic-electro infused sounds to accompany his earthy and dreamy vocals.

Fast forward almost a year later and he is on his first headline mini tour of the UK, with the final date being in the back room of a small South East London pub, the Montague Arms. A quirky little place attracting an eclectic crowd coming together to basically lose themselves. We all casually wandered in, with many being too cool to be up front but as soon as Njoku took to his little desk of electric contraptions and started pressing those buttons, there was an automatic force that urged us forward. Even the tiny colour lights flickering above him had us quite delirious.

Njoku flitted from old material, including tracks from his debut album In Greyscale, such as Falling Flux and By A Fjord, to the minimalist sounds of There Is A Way on the piano that had the audience in awe. The only time you could hear/see people talk amongst themselves it seemed, was when the big bass sounds kicked in as it seemed no one wanted to interrupt anyone who wanted to witness this show. We were also given new sounds from In All Its Glory, (with the word Glory being cleverly stamped on our hands as our entry tickets). This was probably the loudest the crowd got as a nod of approval to Njoku.

We were also introduced to Drifting, the newest song that Njoku admitted scared him to play live, as it’s so new but with the crescendo of psychedelic beats was definitely one to keep in the set list. Once Again ended this perfect set list and basically, as one punter put it, has us ‘loosing our shit!’

Words & Image by Victoria Ling