By Holly Carter, Music Reporter
Last weekend Asaf Avidan played two shows at The Islington Assembly. Asaf is an Israeli singer-songwriter currently signed to the record label Polydor. He is well known for performing as part of Asaf Avidan & The Mojos but in 2012 he decided to focus more on his solo career which saw the release of live album Avidan in a Box. Throughout his career he has performed alongside and supported legendary musicians such as Bob Dylan, Robert Plant and Lou Reed, so it’s safe to say there was an excitement from the crowd to watch him perform.
Unusually, there was no support act for the evening, instead Asaf was going to entertain the audience by himself for two hours. This added to the excitement of the show. Asaf is known for the energy and passion that he injects into each of his performances, however actually witnessing it was something really special. From the moment he walked onto the stage the entire room was filled with cheers and laughter as he took the audience through the stories of his life as a musician and of his journey. These stories included the troubles he has with such a high voice and how he tries to control it around women by using his ‘sexy low voice’. Another anecdote included how he cannot walk into a music shop without purchasing something – which results in him having very angry roadies who have to carry his newly acquired, obscure instrument collection. As well as being a charismatic and talented musician, he is also a very amusing comedian with the stories he tells. After only one song, which consisted of an impressively long vocal note, he had won over the entire audience.
Throughout the performance his vocal range and tone were faultless and his ability to write catchy and meaningful songs was evident. He began the show with an acoustic guitar but throughout the night he changed between drums, autoharp and, at one point perform, he sang a capella with a looping machine. He had the audience in the palm of his hand and they waited in anticipation to see what was going to happen next. He addressed the audience on a very personal level and throughout the night thanked and showed gratitude to every single person in attendance. He finished on one of his well-known solo songs ‘One Day’, which again portrayed his ability to reach high and low notes. Further illustrating the impressive dynamic strength of his vocals – a skill that only a selected few solo artists manage to obtain with their voice alone. It was an extremely enjoyable and inspirational evening by a unique and original artist. Next time he visits London, do yourself a favour and buy yourself a ticket, you will not regret it.