Concert Review: Jeremy Loops

IMG_9272.jpg by Siobhon van der Merwe on 500px.com

Venue:  41st Floor, Media One Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Date:  19 November 2015

IMG_9342.jpg by Siobhon van der Merwe on 500px.com

Set List:
· Welcome.
· Mission to the Sun (Howling).
· Sinner.
· Skinny Blues.
· My Shoes.
· Down South | 3 Little Birds.
· Running Away.
· Only The Good Die Young (Billy Joel cover).

Encore:
· Trip Fox.
· See, I Wrote It For You.

IMG_9487.jpg by Siobhon van der Merwe on 500px.com

Loops started the show singing, “Welcome”, if you wanna have fun, say aye to warm everyone up, and get the crowd moving and off their seats and ready for more of what Jeremy Loops has to offer.  His practice of moving up against the barricades and fist bumping the audience while playing his harmonica is a great way of personally involving his fans looking forward to enjoying the evening with him.

IMG_9257.jpg by Siobhon van der Merwe on 500px.com

He personally engages with his audience during his shows. And when taking an onstage breather between songs he entertained us with some personal anecdotes of his last visit to Dubai 6 years ago, which was somewhat different to the one now. The boat he had been travelling on from Italy to Dubai was temporarily seized by port authorities, because of possible people trafficking concerns. He was stranded here for 8 weeks while the matter was sorted out, which gave him the opportunity to enjoy some of what Dubai had to offer, playing golf and chilling on the beach.

IMG_9474.jpg by Siobhon van der Merwe on 500px.com

IMG_9500.jpg by Siobhon van der Merwe on 500px.com

Next he had us all howling along with him to the song “Mission to the Sun.” His collaborators came out one by one and introduced themselves to the audience; the saxophonist, Jamie Faull had a mini clash against Loops’ saxophone vocalisation and then rocked out on the drums. Next came the bassist, Sean Ou Tim, aka Mr. Sakitumi, and finally the South African rapper Motheo Moleko who is a great match for Jeremy’s enthusiasm and energy.  With nearly 100% audience participation, the volume of the crowd’s singing was incredible. I am sure I felt the foundations of the Media One Hotel shake even though I was standing on the 41st floor!  Much to the delight of the audience, Jeremy caught the sound of their enthusiastic cheering and  singing along on his mic,  and looped it into the songs, “Running Away” and “See I wrote it for you” live.  You can’t help but respond to such genuine enthusiasm when the performer has such obvious enjoyment of the crowd he is playing for.

IMG_9239.jpg by Siobhon van der Merwe on 500px.com

 

IMG_9201.jpg by Siobhon van der Merwe on 500px.com

As a venue, it was tight, packed to capacity, and dark.  The underground dungeon feel was not an easy venue for a photographer and the lighting was challenging.  I knew the venue would be a small, so I took only one lens with me.  Jeremy’s popularity as a performer probably needed a larger venue, but the intimacy of the surroundings allowed the audience to be very much part of the performance, and interact with the performers, which is rare these days with such a popular artist.  What was exciting for the audience, and me as a photographer, was the band seemed to enjoy this intimate atmosphere as much as we did, which made for some great photo’s.

IMG_9394.jpg by Siobhon van der Merwe on 500px.com

Jeremy Loops is a young South African performer fighting for his place in the world arena of music. As a South African musician it is just so much harder to be taken seriously. People in the industry and fans just make the assumption, if it is from South Africa it isn’t good enough. The result is the world misses out on some incredible musicians that deserve to be heard. Jeremy Loops is one of them. A hard working dedicated performer, a great musician with a dynamic energy that can get a whole room responding to his looped mouth/hand-made sound-effects, singing, and style of building songs that gets the whole room dancing, singing, stomping, clapping and jumping along to his music.

IMG_9473.jpg by Siobhon van der Merwe on 500px.com

Anyone who loves folk, Indie and beats is in for a rare treat. Jeremy himself describes his music as having a folk sound, but at the same time, with a modern feel. Added to that are electronic sounds that he adds with his loop pedal. There are a whole arsenal of sounds that can be heard in his music from vocals that could rival Mumford of Mumford and Sons, hip hop, beatbox, beatboxing into a harmonica and even a barely noticeable female Indie voice.

IMG_9493.jpg by Siobhon van der Merwe on 500px.com
IMG_9261.jpg by Siobhon van der Merwe on 500px.com
IMG_9524.jpg by Siobhon van der Merwe on 500px.com

Jeremy Loops has headlined at numerous festivals before tens of thousands of people, and his debut album Trading Change topped the South African charts at No. 1 on iTunes on its release date.

IMG_9468.jpg by Siobhon van der Merwe on 500px.com

I am a classical pianist, and I work very hard at it, so I especially appreciate the effort and dedication that any musician puts into their performance.  As a concert photographer I have the privilege of seeing all this endless preparation and passion being put into action.  I enjoy all music, but the best part is when I am at a concert as a photographer AND a fan, and I am an unabashed fan of Jeremy Loops and his music, so last night I had a fantastic time taking photos!  A very memorable evening, and what a privilege to hear this performer play. Not only does he want to make a success of his music, but he genuinely enjoys what he is doing, and it shows in every fibre of his being. He is a vibrant and energetic performer whose passion for what he does is genuine. My suggestion is, that you go and see this young up and coming artist live. His European Tour starts at the beginning of 2016 in the UK, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands. It should not be missed so do yourselves a favour and book your ticket now, you will not be disappointed. I certainly wasn’t, and I am willing to bet that we have not seen the last of Jeremy Loops. JEREMY LOOPS CONTINENTAL DRIFT TOUR FEB 2016 Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 11.12.34 AM

IMG_9434.jpg by Siobhon van der Merwe on 500px.com
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