To see Loyle Carner live, is to be in the presence of an energy of pure adoration. Everyone in the audience hangs upon each and every word the 25 year old delivers, with a sense of awe and anticipation, while Loyle himself clearly revels in and returns all the love sent his way by a packed O2 institute crowd. At times he even seems to be almost on the verge of becoming overwhelmed during minute long ovations or lengthy chants of “LOYLE, LOYLE”.
This marks the third time I have been fortunate enough to see Loyle Carner, or Benjamin Gerard Coyle-Larner to give him his full name, and the artist’s rise is truly impressive. Having personally seen him perform at a small midday festival slot, to a packed hyde park audience who weren’t altogether familiar with the artist’s style, to this packed O2 institute crowd of Loyle aficionados, Loyle is riding a wave of talent and creativity that seems to know no bounds, and this meteoric rise is not lost upon the artist himself. Frequently throughout the show, Loyle mentions his previous performance at the institute, in which the reception was far less welcoming, and Loyle even questioned if he would ever receive love from a Birmingham audience. The resounding response of yes from the audience, clearly made a huge impression on Loyle, who performed with an inexhaustible passion and drive that energised the whole venue.
He sprinkled his larger hits, ‘Ain’t nothing changed’ ‘Stars and Shards’, ‘Ottolenghi’ from his new album, alongside his more personal songs such as ‘Loose Ends’, before rounding things off with an encore of ‘NO CD’ which had the whole audience bouncing and celebrating the wondrous evening they had just enjoyed . Loyle has crafted a tour show that synthesises both his overt sensitive side, and his ability to have a crowd bopping and simply enjoying themselves. A Loyle Carner show is truly a must for anyone who has enjoyed any of his work. The live experience brings the artist and his sensibilities, as well as his musicianship, to the fore in a truly remarkable manner, and when surrounded by fellow fans the experience leaves one thrilled. Never have I experienced an artist truly worshipped or adored by a crowd as Loyle Carner in this specific moment.
By Joe Graham