MICHAEL KIWANUKA | Cambridge, The Junction

‘Welcome home, Michael!’

It was a strange heckle that heralded the arrival of London-born singer, Michael Kiwanuka.

After the competent opening of Josephine Oniyama, Kiwanuka quickly created the ideal, laid-back atmosphere on which his soulful music could rest. The ease with which he delivered BonesI’m Getting Ready and Tell Me Tale indicated the presence of an emerging talent already comfortable in front of large crowds. His vocals were at the same time powerful and subtle and his Bill Withers cover indicated the depth of musical heritage he both respects and seeks to emulate.

Before seeing Michael Kiwanuka live, it was possible that the intimacy of his recorded performances would be lost in a larger room with many people vying for his attention. There was no need to worry. By the time that he introduced Home, the smooth, comforting voice reassuring us that the song is about the best place to return to was doubted by noone. He created a moment in which we all understood and embraced this feeling. In the concrete, distant box that is The Junction, we all felt at home.

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