Since his appearance on the musical landscape, Nancy has been shrouded in mystery. From cryptic EP covers to only partially revealing his face to viewers on his latest music video. So at tonight’s gig, some of us don’t quite know what to expect, even though his tracks have garnered support from the likes of DIY Magazine and have been played on both BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music.
In a very intimate and sweltering gig room at The Islington in North London, the Nancy set begins with the band playing the opening chords of the track ‘I’m not Getting Sober, I’m just Getting Older’ with no singer in sight. Then up walks the very tall lead singer of the Nancy project, who fans will recognise as Jamie Hall, the frontman of the Brighton band Tigercub.
Tonight is Nancy’s first ever UK gig, and his energy is turned up high. This is definitely one of the most electrifying gigs that I’ve seen this year, so far. Nancy who performs the majority of his set off stage and stood directly in the crowd is dressed in a tuxedo suit, a look that goes well with the velvet decor of the venue.
Unafraid to stretch the capacity of the mic, during one track, Nancy decides to directly point his mic into the speakers, to produce a feedback loop which is then naturally integrated into the performance.
During the track ‘Try To Take Time’, he stands amongst fans watching and commending his band who remain firmly on stage playing him out.
We are given a couple of new tracks, including ‘Psycho/Psycho Killer’, which is another great piece of work to add to Nancy’s eclectic discography.
What stands out with Nancy’s music, is his ability to one minute channel sounds that could be likened to early material of The Strokes, but to then instantly switch to a glorious electro-pop ballad like ‘Teenage Fantasy’.
His EP ‘Mysterious Visions’ was released last year and contains five original songs and one cover, so the set for tonight’s gig isn’t very long but seeing Nancy performing ‘Bootz’ (Are Made For Walkin’), is worth the ticket price alone. Ending the gig on the track which has been given a Nancy ‘rock’ remix, has the whole room headbanging, whilst Nancy jumps up and down and is not far off hitting his head on the ceiling.
Yes, Nancy sounds great on his recorded material but wherever he plays next, I would urge you to be there. His live set is an experience well worth experiencing.
There’s no doubt that his previous musical experience has enabled him to perfect the art of great showmanship, but this new Nancy project shows off Jamie Hall’s ability to reinvent himself was no restraint.