John Floreani, A Celebration Of Sin

31 May 2019

Charmingly funny and heartbreaking, John Floreani makes us laugh and cry at The Camden Assembly.
Image for John Floreani, A Celebration Of Sin

On a 4 day bender of shows, John Floreani played an incredible 6 sets across May Bank Holiday weekend. Half of these sets were just him, a guitar, a stage and his beautiful solo acoustic tracks. And my god were they intimate. We were lucky enough to see him at The Camden Assembly, for his free ‘A Celebration of Sin’ show.

John’s solo tracks bare his thoughts, his feelings and his soul in a way that is more deeply personal than his work with Trophy Eyes. This personality attracted a devoted crowd to the upstairs room that makes the Camden Assembly. John’s charm and humour shone brightly on the night, and created an atmosphere that felt more like a conversation between us and him, breaking the barrier between loving fans and beloved performer.

He opened the evening with a word of caution that he ‘only had six songs’ and so he was going to have to fill. It didn’t matter, nor did we care. John’s banter with the crowd and storytelling more than made up for the ‘lack’ of music. In what would become the defacto heckle for the evening, John exclaimed bemusement at how polite the English are, going as far to apologise for sneezing. In a faux-mockney accent, John imitated the now immortal ‘Sorry’ that would be repeated throughout the night, each time to enthusiastic laughter.

John Floreani, Slam Dunk South

Image for John Floreani, Slam Dunk South

The night wasn’t purely dominated by John’s conversation and banter. In between, John played some of the most heartwrenchingly beautiful songs I’ve ever witnessed live. During ‘Oh Brother’, a song about the broken relationship John has with his brother, his voice cracked and his eyes welled with tears. A haunting silence fell over the crowd, until John jokingly quipped that we were laughing five seconds ago and now we’re all crying.

This is why people reject pop culture and embrace the underground. The songs mean as much and more to the performer than the fan and in this way there is more connection between the two. The lyrics aren’t ghostwritten, they’re not focus grouped. They are real stories, real experiences, real emotions, shared by real people and in this setting where just an acoustic guitar separates artist and fan, the feeling of shared emotion and connectedness is heightened beyond belief.

John’s debut solo album, Sin, is out next week, June 7th, and we’re wishing the days would fly by til we can get our hands on a copy. We’ll be waiting with crossed fingers for him to announce another set of solo shows in the UK. Until then, we will dine on the experience we shared that night.

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