LIVE Review – Andy Shauf @ Hackney OSLO

Andy Shauf’s latest album ‘The Party’ is exactly what it says on the tinny… a party, but not one that associate’s with bangers and blind-drunkenness. The album instead documents the ever changing mood of a typical shindig and the kind of mutating vibe that grows out of fragile egos and suppressed insecurities. You might not believe this; but the subject of this album seems to have been fully embraced by British indie kids.

Not that you could call Shauf an Indie kid. He takes the stage like a solemn folk musician stepping forward from a youth of semi-emotional, semi-despondent isolation. Each track blossoms with heartfelt lyrics and expert musicianship (with a new live addition of two clarinet players who offer great depth) – but the calm and almost completely inexpressive presence of Shauf creates an eerie disparity that ultimately adds to the performance more than it takes away.

Shauf has humour on his side too; his dead-pan collectedness is enough to shrug off heckler’s screaming for his hand in marriage – simply asking the crowd if they want to hear another song to which the proposal is duly eclipsed. Shauf and his band after faultless renditions from his new album (including personal favourites; ‘The Magician’ and the completely therapeutic ‘To You’), encore’s with an old track ‘Wendell Walker’ which keeps the audience in silence and is nothing short of stunning.

Andy Shauf and his band are touring Europe and the US until the end of May this year.