TOM MISCH | London, Village Underground

Tom Misch can’t stop smiling. The crowd that has gathered at the Village Underground on this wintry Wednesday evening have not come to watch him out of casual curiosity: these are seasoned devotees and their excitement is palpable. ‘I can’t believe this’ he shakes his head. ‘Of all the gigs we’ve played on this tour, this is the one I was most excited about. Thanks for turning up’.

The fact that he’s sold out a 700-capacity venue might be incredible to him – but it’s no surprise to us. At just twenty, Misch is absolutely prodigious.  A songwriter, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and producer, his most recent EP Reverie built on the unassuming, groove-driven magic of his previous musical offerings – Beat Tape 1 and 2 ; blending hip-hop, jazz and electronic soul, Reverie quietly announced itself as a perfectly chilled summer soundtrack. But watching him live is a different experience altogether: airlifted out of the intimacy of the bedroom jam, suddenly you realise the full scope of his musical mastery which pervades every element of the performance. Flanked by a violinist, bassist and drummer and illuminated against a black backdrop flecked by stars, this performance is a bedroom jam turned cosmic.

Misch’s set moves effortlessly from understated instrumentals – where his expert jazz guitar work is given room to breathe – to soulful bebop dance-floor tracks like ‘Colours of Freedom’ and ‘Sunshine’, where the beat always seems to emerge from the swirling spaciousness at exactly the right moment. Misch is joined on stage by a host of talent, including London rappers Loyle Carner and Barney Artist, his saxophonist sister Laura Misch on the brilliant ‘Follow’ and the gritty tenor of Zac Abel on the superb ‘Beautiful Escape’, performed live here only for the second time. It feels like the best kind of musical family. Sit tight for the album.

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