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John Smith - The Vortex, Dalston

Full of hope and promise i entered the Vortex in the colourful and charismatic Dalston. Last time i was here I remember bumbling into the Dalston Superstore and being greeted by skinny Jeans and spectacles. I was pleasantly surprised when i entered the Vortex Jazz Club which for me feels like Blasphemy after being a true Ronnie Scott fan. John Smith, the British Folk singer played to a mesmerised crowd that hung onto his every husky word. The Essex twang was well and truly lost when he belted out the beautiful ‘Invisible Boy’. The sudden drumming of his guitar and his calming pace felt like he was telling as class full of inquisitive children a story.

Eager ears and eyes glued to the singer who was emotionally involved in is performance, especially Invisible Boy, which hides meaning of a traumatic period during his teens. I remember seeing John on the line-up at The Green man and thinking what an ordinary name for a singer. Surely he would fall into the background of other folk artists – a little pessimistic for a Beth i admit. Instead i had my ears chewed off about how this Essex boy won over the crowd. ‘The Horror’ was my favourite performance of the night, with myself slipping in at the back to catch the last few moments of the gig on stage behind the fans who swung from side to side in a motion of happiness and mourning at the same time. Folk always gets a bad rip for being depressing, boring and cheesy. This hoever was beautiful.

A little snippet of perfection, I  knew that after listening to his album the first time round, I will now be ready to let it fall on repeat for the foreseeable future. I am not a huge folk fan, the most folk I have ever listended to being Mumford and Sons which is drummed down my throat at every opportunity, making me feel quite sick. I have however decided that after giving this Smith character a chance, I am now delighted in the prospect of attending another gig. After a manic tript o the Vortex, with transport and bad organisation skills from myself, a dead Blackberry and anxious behaviour to not dissapoint I made the gig only to catch a small moment. I have listended to the album beforehand, which I have since added to a playlist on my IPOD and now proud to bust out on crowded buses and trains. His music is soothing, and made my journey into work for 7am this morning a lot better. Usually listening to drum and bass, maybe some dub step i feel my angry monster side coming out as i push through the crowds on the Central line. Today, I blissfully slipped onto the platform and hung losely in the carriage listenging to the subtle tones of the talent of John Smith.

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