If ever there was a time to be alive, it’s now, in 2017, when artists like Sampha shape your musical journey. I’ve been a long time fan of this man’s work since 2013 when I first heard his track ‘Too Much’ – it still gives me chills to this day.

Thanks to Vivid Sydney, Sampha made his way to our shores with a few sideshows to boot. His first of two Melbourne shows was last night and I gotta say, it was amazing to be in a shared space with like-minded music lovers. I never thought I’d see Sampha live so this was a really meaningful show, and it was everything I wanted it to be.

His debut album ‘Process’ dropped at the start of the year and as soon as I heard it, I knew it would be in my Top 10 albums for 2017. Hearing it live 100% confirmed that for me. Experiencing Sampha in the flesh is a really special feeling; he makes you take a deep breathe and soak it all in, he surprises you with his rhythm changes, he gives you goose bumps at the sincerity behind each word he sings, but more importantly – he makes you smile. When an artist can connect with me and make me smile, that’s when I know they are the real deal.

Playing us his latest work of electro-soul R&B surpassed any preconceived idea that this was going to just be a song cycle kind of show. Sampha is an artist; he’s a performer and he’s got swagger, but the way he embodies the music shows just how freeing it can be. With runs like liquid gold and the beats free-flowing; Sampha defines what it means to be effortless. It’s hard with a show like this to get fully turnt up, it’s really not the setting, but the slow grooves and percussive interludes were captivating and entrancing.

Stand out moments of the evening included ‘Timmy’s Prayer’, ‘Blood On Me’, ‘Without’ and of course ‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’. This particular song was the encore and there’s no denying we had all been waiting for it. It certainly lived up to the hype. One overarching thing I can say about Sampha is that he sounds as good if not better live than his recordings. Talk about talented!

Just a side note for punters heading along tonight: OzTix tickets were not working last night due to the venue change and it was a hot mess trying to get everyone in. Might I suggest looking into that today. Due to this problem I sadly missed support act PAULi who I was incredibly excited to see. Don’t be disappointed like I was – there are still a few tickets left for tonight’s show available from Ticketmaster

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author: Kara Bertoncini

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