Kamal and Piano | Live at The Tabernacle, London
A different kind of show occurred when Kamal took the stage with nothing but a piano accompanying him. Playing an hour-long show at West London’s The Tabernacle was a stunning display of stunning vocals, raw emotions and beautiful sounds. Taking it back to basics with an instrument he has played since he was six years old, Kamal enchanted the audience, who were tuned in and very in the moment of him and his piano.
Kamal first came to recognition when his 2020 single homebody went viral, perking the ears of people who could relate to his simplistic melodic vibes. blue was where more ears caught attention of the young teen who effortlessly speaks about his daily realities of being a Gen – z and navigating the various emotions of life that speak to those who are able to relate to him.
Fast forward to 2024 with his debut EP war outside released in 2021, his first mixtape so here you are drowning in 2023, and the Dave Mercury collab, one of the few songs the two have together. Kamal has crafted an effortless vibe on the ears through his rather simplistic production, which has served him as he allows his lyrical and melodic moments to shine through.
The display of this was the highlight of the first of two sold-out shows he played as part of his Kamal and Piano mini-tour. Fans would’ve seen him play Islington Academy Hall last summer in support of his mixtape, where he brought songs like Essential, lose, Free Flow and Blue to life in front of a sold-out crowd on a lovely June evening. Switching it up for the January vibes and taking it all down, the reimagination of previous songs and teasers of music to come was a perfect way to ease into another year of live shows.
As the crowd was engrossed, there was not the shouting along the words and screaming one would’ve expected but instead a focus and appreciation of pure music and talent, only allowing for moments of claps and cheers after each performance, with no production and only the stunning accompaniment of lights which changed colours and appropriately set the focus on the main show and nothing else.
The setlist included fan favourites homebody and blue, of course, but also a different offering of songs like so so close, kerosene, his latest single ‘still a little something’ and a taster of things we can expect like the song grieving (even though you’re alive)’ which is pretty much self-explanatory and speaks to the feelings of grieving/missing somebody who is very much still alive.
Through his conversations with the crowd and the lyrical content he displays in his songs, it’s evident that Kamal is very much in tune with his emotional and mental state of mate and how they relate to his experiences as he navigates the world around him.
The highlight of the show was the whole thing from start to finish, and the only critique, if at all, was the length, as one could’ve happily sat through another half hour of that show. I’m sure fans and anybody in the crowd can hope we will receive these shows because you can’t beat a good voice and a piano.
still a little something is out now via Kamal via @kamalnw
Words by Seneo Mwamba