John Alone’s latest live project is focused and heavy with talent, locked in on energetic and direct performances. Cover Image: Son Silva
It’s half-seven in a venue under a railway arch in Bow, London, and Son Silva is blending into the music. He’s clearly come a long way as a performer, electric and eclectic as ever but now in far better control of his voice. Silva emerges on stage as a “future celebrity”, a term that’ll come up time and again as the night goes on, unfurling and emerging around the mic as he performs his most iconic track, “Kisses II”. He makes for an extremely impressive opening act for Lonelyworld’s first show.
Lonelyworld is a new contender in the event-collective class, a space as exciting as it is diverse. It’s the new brainchild of John Alone, a now veteran underground multi-talent and event organiser who also represents Sail Out LDN, another small-scale collective dealing in soulful sounds. By comparison, Lonelyworld has a plain but even more sincere approach – the storytelling and theatrics of Sail Out are generally gone, the hosting is entertaining but functional, and the acts come on and off the stage in overlapping sequence. Time and space merged every corner is filled with music in recognition of the value sound The audience experience, in turn, was maximal – the sheer volume of talent on stage was immense. The lineup was dizzyingly and excitingly dense, and even the subtler acts, like Iman Lake, turned to heightened emotion or the reliable explosion of an 808 to keep things at the red line. Constant, authentic, and at times stunningly creative music overtook the room; as new faces grace the stage so did new patterns, new sounds, new interactions.
Isaiah Shoticaury walked onstage with deceptive subtlety before launching into some of the night’s most precise and seamless singing; his take on dark, repetitive trap music was thunderous and modern. RJ London left a massive impression, his excellent rapping matched with an undeniable charisma and command of the crowd. The same goes for NCN; led by East London’s NickSilver, the three-man team seemed unstoppable during their anthemic tune “PI”. RJ’s “Shanko” seemed to revel in its own hype – a song so wrapped up in its own ballistics that it basically becomes a hook with decoration.
During a water break from his opening set, Son Silva spoke his mind with molecular tangents like “H2O, the healing component” giving the sense that everything would become something else. At the show’s end John Alone cemented the concept of “nobody above, nobody below” – hopefully as Lonelyworld develops and diversifies this continues to be realised. It was deeply refreshing to witness growth from every artist present, growth that didn’t aim at necks or pockets.
John saw out the show with his set; he is as ever a brilliant vocalist and fantastic stage presence, disappearing into the stage lights and trailing vocal runs. His set felt conversational, songs like “Sportscenter” unravelled into speeches and chats with the crowd. Linking him and the other artists was the sincere desire to do more for themselves and the people around. There is the energy and makings of a community here. Live music is one of the most fun things on the planet, and Lonelyworld is an energetic, collaborative, and worthwhile way to experience it.
Check out the full lineup here.
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– Jamie (Managing Editor @108MICS) (words + photos)
I was given free entry to this show. Coverage in return was not guaranteed. Nobody from Lonelyworld read this article before publication.