Esser is great. In a mass of music hungry Kaiser Chiefs fans in the core of the NIA it would be easy for a support band to get lost, but not Esser, oh no. Velvet jacketed, chain-clad, eccentric Esser kicks off with stonker ‘Satisfied’; a dramatic piano introduction which sounds like it’s been teleported from the 20s, but wait, here come the rhythmic drums and a tune which wouldn’t be out of place in a Marrakesh orgy. ‘Satisfied’ presents a welcome other side of the coin view-point about how women are so demanding, something the probably everyone can relate to, according to Esser that is. A mix of tinny piano, exotic old African drum beats and mellow, haunting singing creates a great song to bop to, I literally cannot sit still if this is playing.

The heavy bass kicks in during ‘This Time Around’ which, added to the pounding drums, shakes the giant arena and everyone’s attention. Taking a turn for the punk, Esser sneaks in hard-hitting avant-garde track ‘Long Arms’ which gives him the authority on stage that his off stage personality lacks. By shouting lyrics such as ‘Pissin’ on your toothbrush helps to relieve the pain’, who wouldn’t love him? Maybe his ex-girlfriend…

Fan favourite ‘Headlock’ relies on bass and synth to push it forward. In such a gigantic arena as the NIA this only just works, the bass is so loud it’s clearly haemorrhaging the front row or so, but the outrageous synth solo more than makes up for it. Nonetheless, the show is so attention grabbing that it serves as its own little headline slot (especially considering Black Kids’ poor performance later on in the evening); Esser’s flamboyant, extravagant showmanship packs more than a punch. The diversity of the songs on the set list is just something we don’t see nowadays with most modern bands; each one of Esser’s songs could fall into a different genre but are still all equally as good as each other.

New single ‘Work It Out’ mellowed the tone, once again relying on synth and a catchy drum beat. All in all it’s a great candyfloss tune that will do well on the pop chart circuit, however if this song is the first to get the media’s attention it will be a shame as it doesn’t really encompass Esser’s talent to the same extent as some of his other belters.

Final song ‘I Love You’ is introduced by an effects reel of famous exerts from songs which sing ‘I Love You’s. The drums in this song are just brilliant, a mixture between upbeat jazz and sexy indie. Esser’s charmingly boyish voice over a vocoder machine works perfectly and he hits the higher notes with ease, whilst bashing away at a tambourine of course, like all good musicians do. It’s obvious when a band enjoy playing their own music, and Esser is proud of his music, he enjoys it onstage (not to mention his constant self-interruptions as a singer in order to play second percussionist!) and if you YouTube him you’ll be sure to find him collaborating with many other artists in his home, their homes, and of course, in someone’s garden. Esser deserves your attention: great singer, great band, great songs, great live atmosphere, most certainly one of the best live bands I’ve seen and should soon be one of yours too.


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