Live Review: Joshua Radin at Oxford Academy – 22nd July 2009

By on Thursday, 23rd July 2009 at 12:27 am

Meiko (side)When choosing what gigs to go to, two things come into mind for me: do I like their music (i.e. Does it make me feel something / make me want to dance), and live would they offer something more than a CD would? Joshua Radin firmly ticks both these boxes, with a great range of (mostly sad) story telling songs, and live he is funny, witty and engaging – just what I like in a live show.

I’ve only see Josh twice, and both times his support act has given him a good run for his money in terms of talent and entertainment. Last time it was Maria Taylor, tonight it was the rather lovely Meiko (pictured right).

Clearly nervous, she got the applause worthy of a headliner, and had tunes to boot – we’re talking the heart-rending stuff that producers of One Tree Hill, Greys Anatomy and the OC so love. Indeed, her second song, “” was featured on Grey’s Anatomy. Quick witted (her beer fizzed over – “oh well, 3 minutes and it’ll go down. Ohhhh! That’s what she said!!” to much laughter). She had the crowd on side immediately, and seemed genuinely touched at the reaction she got – think a one woman Tegan and Sara, mixed with a hint of Tom McRae and you’re halfway there

Joshua Radin (london live)Then the stage was set for Ohio’s Josh Radin, who, needless to say, did not disappoint, feeding off the audience from the start to give a blistering show. Giving us exactly what we’d come to see, he was both amusing, entertaining and on top musical form. Treating us to some new tracks he’s been writing on the road these past few weeks, they sounded fuller, almost happier than the majority of his two albums. Taking full advantage of the backing of a full band, Josh and the band wasn’t afraid to stretch their legs musically, offering a welcome break from the sometimes morose subject matter.

A quick cover of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” was a personal highlight – completely acoustic, unplugged (a la Tom McRae’s 2007 rendition of Bloodless in London), along with welcoming Meiko back for “Today”. There’s so much I could talk about, but if I’m not careful I’ll descend into crazy fanboy mode, so just take my word when I say that it was absolutely fantastic.

Finally, it was time for Josh to leave, but not before delivering the great news that he’ll be back in October, playing another UK tour, including a show at London’s Koko and somewhere in Manchester, which will be great to catch him again.

Please note: in a moment of stupidity, I forgot my camera at last night’s gig, so there are unfortunately no pictures (other than some very dodgy phone pics which I won’t be inflicting on you). Apologies. After the jump is the setlist.

Joshua Radin played at Oxford Academy on Wednesday 22nd July 2009. He played (in roughly this order):

Brand New Day
No Envy No Fear
Rather Be With You
One Of Those Days
Nowhere To Go (new song)
You Got Growing Up To Do
The Fear You Won’t Fall
Untitled – new album song
Everything’ll Be Alright (Will’s Lullaby)
Today (with meiko)
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright (Bob Dylan cover)
She’s so right
“Think I’ll go inside” (new song)

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[…] Saturday 5th September 7) Keane at London’s O2 Arena – Thursday 12th February 8 ) Joshua Radin at Oxford’s O2 Academy 2 – Wednesday 22nd July 9) Delphic and Two Door Cinema Club at Southampton Joiners – […]

[…] seen Joshua Radin twice before (in London and Oxford), so it was only right that I saw him at the other end of the M4, in Bristol tonight at the […]

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