In Case You Missed It : Here’s WHAT WENT DOWN @ Venna’s Legendary First Headline Show [@vennaldn]

In Case You Missed It : Here’s WHAT WENT DOWN @ Venna’s Legendary First Headline Show [@vennaldn]

Photography by Kat Friar

Venna’s first headline show made history, it was a life-altering experience that changed the way I perceive music. After coming to the forefront of the UK’s music scene through his work with Knucks and the Grammy he was awarded at 21, Venna’s latest EP dropped earlier this year and sold-out headline shows followed. The first date sold out so quick that they had to add another – so here’s our run-down in case you missed it.

Venna makes an effortless entrance, saxophone in hand. He’s dressed in Nicholas Daley, wearing an outfit reminiscent of his recent VOGUE photoshoot, looking fly as ever. The smooth sax glides over the live band and floats through The Lower Third as he begins with ‘Aroma’. The warmth of ‘Casa Lopez’ erupts through his melodic saxophone and while the collaborators on the track – Mick Jenkins and Masego – are absent, the way he texturises the instrumentation on the track in perfect harmony with his live band is so vivid, it’d have you thinking that was the original version.

His first special guest to take the stage is JADA, as they perform ‘TAM TAM’ together. Her ethereal tone of voice acts as the navigator for the audience to sing along as the room resonates with the complications and confusion of situationships and romantic relationships. Then Marco Bernardis, long-time collaborator of Venna’s, joins him on the stage for ‘Last Poets’ and ‘Mount Shasta’. The chemistry the pair have on stage is phenomenal, whenever they turn to face each other it often feels as if they’re conversating with their saxophones, a language only the two of them can understand. Marco’s solos are were so stunning that our Head of Music, Shenell was next to me shouting ‘Go Marco! Go Marco’ – the crowd adored him.

Knucks’ entrance takes us back a bit as he performs ‘Standard’, his slick bars and charming stage presence leaving the audience enamoured. The suave stage presence continues as he performs ‘Misty’, his movements are coinciding with his flow as the crowd raps back at him.

Notably, when Venna introduced his band, he called each of them ‘brother’ – giving the show even more of a family feel. Each member of his band were stellar musicians, throughout the show their solos were spectacular – special shoutout to his drummer who brought the house down.

The next highlight of the evening was when he brought JVCK JAMES out for ‘Sun, Moon and Herbs’. JVCK JAMES rich vocals glazed the live instrumentation, hearing this song live felt like the earth was shifting – something like the sound when stars collide. If you think the studio version is otherworldly, just wait until you see it live one day – it’s life changing.

Marco and JADA returned for ‘Junes Cry’, JVCK JAMES and JADA’s harmonies combined with Venna and Marco’s saxophone created an alluring ambience on the stage that was felt all the way through the venue – there’s something about Venna’s take on jazz that’s really warm. The show then finished with ”99′, a wonderful serenading sendoff. Next time Venna does a show, be prepared to move fast to get tickets – they sold out super fast and now I see exactly why, his live performances are not to be missed.

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