Finally back into going to gigs, and what a way to start again!
On Wednesday 25th January, I met the Boyfriend from work and after enjoying a very delicious, and Gluten free Wahaca we left Waterloo and made our way to Charing Cross to seek out Heaven.
Heaven, a club owned by G-A-Y and first established in the 70s, boasts a 1000 person capacity for live music and has hosted acts ranging from Bombay Bicycle Club, Franz Ferdinand and N*E*R*D*.
I had Googled what Heaven looked like and where it was based but I wasn’t expecting what I saw when we arrived at the arches of Charing Cross. It was discrete and hidden despite the barriers and the metal detector right outside!
My boyfriend urged me to go first and so I strutted through the detector, had my bag checked and we were in! I had my stamp claiming I was allowed in and my ticket ripped. We turned the corner and faced a choice of two doors to go through, we went straight ahead and wow! What a venue. It was a typical basement, we were surrounded by exposed brick, dark paths and 3 or 4 little bars each with their own barman and a clock room to the left.
We hastily checked our coats in (only to soon realise that most kept theirs on, including hats and scarves, because it was freezing in there! The boyfriend waa convinced the gig area had no solid roof. He’s a structural engineer but I highly doubt he was right 😉) before rushing off to see the area where we’d be watching the music come alive. Safe to say we were awestruck. The roof was curved and the stage was raised. The room seemed to go back forever. Metal stairs left up to a balcony overlooking those standing below. I can only imagine what a great view those at the front got, those at the back not so much. This balcony led further back to a room I never got to see.
We got our ciders and we stood admiring the venue and excitedly anticipating what the night of music had in store for us. We were there for the headliner, Rationale, who spotify describe as a mash between Tracy Chapman and Morrisey.
The first act, the support, Dom Mcallister was up at half eight. The range of voice he has was incredible. He performed his own music and did a mash up of Jamie xx I know there’s gonna be good times and LUV by Tory Lanez. What a mash up. Everyone was singing along from the first word courtesy of LUV.
He had a great rapport with us, his audience. He spoke to us and even got us to participate in one of his songs. All we had to do was sing ‘woahhh ohhh ohh oh oh’ after him. Something so simple but so entertaining. We found out he had written that song with Jess Glynne. And you could tell. It had a heavy influence of her music but it suited his voice. His half an hour set was soon over and I think it’s safe to say he gained himself a fair few new supporters.
Another quick trip to the bar, this time for a diet coke and a G&T. We lost our spot on the floor so had to fight our way through the sea of people to find somewhere to stand. As I’m too much of a delicate, sweet person, I pushed the boyfriend in front and he found us a place to stand amongst the people.
The clock finally ticked round to half nine and it was time for Rationale to take his place on stage.
The stage bore his name in lights as his band appeared first. After much screaming and cheering, Rationale appeared. He was ready to dance, to sing and to entertain. The energy he conveys as he performs is contagious. You can’t help but smile and have and have a dance as his voice fills the room.
Unlike a lot of modern artists, Rationale’s songs have a lot of meaning and you can see first hand how much these songs mean to him. The emotion is rife. He sings with purpose and soul and that’s a rarity with artists this day.
His love for the audience was evident. He expressed that what he felt from us, was pure love. He couldn’t believe the cheers and the screams he was getting and watching us sing along to his songs despite him not yet releasing his debut album.
His hour set flew by. Me and the boyfriend danced the whole way through, more swayed but the thought was there! I sang as and when I could, terribly may I add. He completed his set with fuel to the fire. The crowd belted the words out with him as his gig came to an end.
After a couple of selfies, that was it. The gig was over. My boyfriend was most disappointed that he didn’t do an encore despite me telling him over and over, there wouldn’t be one. He finally accepted this fact and even later told me I was right, which is a rarity for him!
All in all, this gig reminded me just how much I prefer small intimate venues with artists who may not be as well known in the music world because the atmosphere and the feel is nothing of that that you get at bigger venues. There seemed close knit vibe and a whole lotta love as Rationale says.
If you ever see Rationale’s name pop up at a venue near you, I’d recommend a trip to see him.