By Lewis Lowe
It’s been a long time since Natty released his debut album ‘Man Like I’. The album which was an infectious mix of soul and reggae had me instantly hooked, with heartfelt lyrics accompanying pop-like choruses that made for very easy listening. The album has been in constant rotation for me since the first listen and to say I had been waiting eagerly for a follow up is an understatement. Fast forward eight years and the London native is back, this time with his new album ‘Release the Fear’ and I could not resist the chance to catch him at local hotspot The Watering Hole.
At the mercy of the elements The Watering Hole is a really special venue. Built on a mound of sand at Perranporth beach, winter weather has been trying it’s best to rid the town of its musical crown jewel for years but once again it has prevailed for yet another year of incredible live music.
Natty was the first act this year to lure me down the coast and overall it was a good evening. Late support came from Doug Shaw, an acoustic singer-songwriter who played through a mix of covers and original songs. He has a great voice and I’d love to catch him again at a festival in the sun sometime. Unfortunately there wasn’t much of an audience at this point, perhaps put off by the lack of support announcement beforehand or attracted by a local chain pub offering cheaper drinks.
Any thoughts in my head that this may be a quiet gig were soon dismissed when the whole room came alive with people just in time for Natty to arrive on stage. Accompanied by a full band, Natty launched into a highly energetic set which saw him balance old favourites including ‘Badman’ , ‘Coloured Souls’ , and ‘July’ with fresh material from his new album.
Recent favourite ‘Gaia’ sounds fantastic live, the thundering bassline rumbles through the venue and gets everyone moving whilst latest offering, ‘I’m Alive’ is one of the highlights of the set, showcasing Natty’s pure talent for writing songs that connect with his fans.
Early sound issues that meant vocals were virtually non-existent for most of the crowd were covered expertly by an audience enthusiastically singing every word of a hugely enjoyable set. I for one can’t wait to catch him again soon at Tunes in the Dunes festival, another exciting musical showcase right on the beach in Perranporth.