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Emil Svanangen is a peculiar character. He is a well dressed but scruffy man, comes across interested whilst at the same time aloof, and is engaging yet seems divorced from his surroundings, immersed in the enormous sound generated from himself and his accompanying band.

A couple of weeks back, I journeyed to Shepherds Bush in West London to catch Loney Dear at Bush Hall. Having listened to his BBC6 Radio live session with Lauren Laverne the same day, I gained a sense of what to expect. Textured and harmonious “left of center” pop music. He bemoaned the loneliness he felt writing Hall Music, his latest album, to the point of swearing live on air at 11:30 in the morning. No wonder he brought a band along with him on his European tour, to share those endless hours stuck in airports, no doubt. And I was glad he did, as the music was so much richer for it.

Lonley Dear and his traveling band came out to rapturous applause from the 200 strong crowd gathered in the regal setting of Bush Hall. He played the majority of songs from Hall Music, crowd favourites such as “Loney Blues” and “My Heart”, amongst a mixture of older stuff. To see Loney Dear with a full band, in such a beautiful setting, was uplifting to say the least, and life affirming to say the (very) most. I hadn’t been to show like that in a while, where the crowd was a blend of the fresh faced and the not so fresh. Yet everyone seemed content in the company of Loney Dear, each other and the intricate ballad pop, which all had come to marvel at.

You can catch Loney Dear at The Great Escape festival in Brighton in May, along with a whole bunch of other awesome acts. See you there yeah?




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