REVIEW: With firecracker energy, Jacob Collier quite literally leaps around the stage, often mid-phrase, in order t… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
The Prickle (@ThePrickle) June 26, 2022
It’s hard to believe contemporary jazz/pop artist Jacob Collier is only twenty-seven years old. Already more technically accomplished and prolific than most musicians, singers and composers twice his age, he now embarks on his first world tour, along with five other world class musicians and singers: Robin Mullarkey (bass); Christian Euman (drums); Bryn Bliska (synth); Emily Elbert (guitar) and Alita Moses (vocals). Oh — and here in Brixton, Stormzy joins, as a surprise guest, as well as Jacob’s mother Suzie Collier on violin.
Of course, Jacob Collier can already play all these instruments by himself — and he does. With firecracker energy, Collier quite literally leaps around the stage, often mid-phrase, in order to switch between flashy tinkles on piano and keyboards, grand chorales on his “harmoniser” (a bespoke, choral-sounding vocoder), funky slap bass, flamenco-style runs on finger-picked guitar, and all manner of drums and percussion (including a drum-off with Christian Euman, and at one point chucking a stick straight at a huge gong suspended at the top of the stage).
This insane flash and pizzazz (including epileptic lighting) is a far cry from his intimate gigs with his trio at Ronnie Scott’s, or the early days of his self-consciously lo-fi YouTube videos.
The standing venue here in Brixton needs big, booming beats, encouraging Collier to pound away on the piano, barely audible above the drums. For what we gain in crowd-pleasing spectacle, we lose Collier’s trademark subtlety and finesse.
Jacob Collier is currently on a world tour.