REVIEW: Josef Salvat at Gorilla, Manchester

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AUSTRALIAN singer-songwriter Josef Salvat performed at Gorilla, Manchester last night joined by his support act, Half Earth. Quays News entertainment reporter Daniel Willis made his way down to run the rule over the pair…

Josef Salvat, originally of Sydney, Australia is currently embarking on his European tour and stopped off at Gorilla to perform in front of a raucous crowd in what was only his second ever performance in Manchester.

The night began at 8pm with the arrival of support act Half-Earth. The Sheffield-born star had a voice which many in the audience (including myself) were simply not expecting – his almost choir-like voice created a tranquil vibe in the room, something quite the opposite to the sound of headliner Salvat.

First off was ‘Pale Water’ which instantly introduced him to the unknowing audience. His humour and humbleness during his set made him popular, and following songs ‘The Balance’ and ‘Borders’ were equally as impressive.

Half-Earth played a track for his mother called ‘Move Over World’ with it being Mother’s Day – after performing this he then told the audience “That’s my version of a nice Mother’s Day song” as the track itself wasn’t really what you’d associate with being something you’d write for your mother, or sound like.

The Half-Earth set was short, but definitely left its mark on a very impressed audience. His final song of the evening was ‘End’ a song which really showed off his impressive vocal range, and he received a huge applause from the audience upon exiting proceedings.

Josef Salvat would open up his set at 9pm and would go straight into ‘Swim’ a song from his 2015 album ‘Night Swim‘. Salvat’s eccentric stance and moves instantly got the crowd engaged in his eclectic set.

Paradise’ soon followed – a hit well known amongst many Salvat fans. This also came from his ‘Night Swim‘ album, and is one of his most viewed and listened to tracks on his latest album.

Salvat then introduced to fans that the next two tracks he would be playing were wrote when he was planning to break up with a long-term partner – he wrote the songs to hopefully get her attention that the relationship is all but over.

These tracks were called ‘Secret’ a track which highlighted what they were doing when not with one another was now a secret – followed by ‘In the Audience’, a hit which eventually led to him and his partner breaking up – so these songs definitely served their purpose.

Post-track Salvat would interact with the audience telling them the deeper meaning behind his tracks, and what they meant to him. His next hit ‘Hustler’ is one of his older songs which he released on his older album ‘Kiss Me’ back in early 2015 – and was clearly well known to his audience who sang back in unison with Salvat.

Going back even further, ‘Every Night’ was then played, a hit which Salvat originally released in December 2013. This was by far Salvat’s most relaxed track of the evening and was almost romantic – a real contrast to his newer work.

But the highlight of the night in my opinion came next, when Salvat did a rendition of Rihanna’s 2012 hit ‘Diamonds’. He took the track and slowed it right down; it was almost acoustic. The audience were almost completely silent throughout the whole song, and his ability to grab the room – and keep it – was magnificent.

He then performed ‘Open Season’ which is easily his most well known track – a hit which has over four million views on YouTube. By this time in the set the entire room was dancing, and if you didn’t know this track, can you really call yourself a Josef Salvat fan?

Salvat finished the night with ‘This Life’ a hit taken from his 2013 album ‘In Your Prime’ which rounded off an incredible set, with an incredible support act alongside it.

This was only his second performance in Manchester – however on this evidence it won’t be long before he is begged to return.

By Daniel Willis
@DanJWillis_

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