Somerset House has established itself as the perfect summer music venue, with an impressive eighteenth-century courtyard, right by the River Thames in central London. Summer Series always has an impressive and diverse line up every year, with the likes of Adele, Amy Winehouse, Professor Green and Ellie Goulding on their list of past performers, this year was no different. So far Passenger, Nick Mulvey, George Ezra and James Bay to name a few have graced the stage, tonight was Kwabs, Raleigh Ritchie and Zak Abel’s turn to shine.
Walking through the venue, it's small and intimate. People are starting to filter through, grabbing beverages and jerk chicken on the way. Zak Abel kicked off first and warmed up the crowd for the night’s following proceedings. The up and coming star, probably best known for his vocals on Gorgon City’s 2014 summer smash ‘Unmissable’, performed to the crowd, his own material from his latest EP ‘Joker Presents’. After a few microphone issues, Abel soon caught the attention of the audience with his edgy but soulful voice as people started to arrive. Songs in his set included, ‘Higher’, ‘Alchemy’ with a Daniel Beddingfield’s ‘Gotta get thru this’ mash up and ‘These are the days’.
Following Zak Abel, was Raleigh Ritchie, who built on the atmosphere and energised the crowd further.. Asking people to dance ‘like no-one’s watching’, the audience didn't hesitate as they started singing along to his set which included hits ‘Stronger than ever’, ‘The Greatest’ and ‘Bloodsport’. Given the short amount of time he was on stage, he gave an explosive performance and left the audience wanting more.
The much anticipated Kwabs didn't disappoint when he graced the stage to headline tonight's event. Full of suave and rhythm, he grooved to the beats of his up and coming debut album ‘Love+War’ which is out this September. He performed known hits such as ‘Walk’, ‘Wrong or Right’ and ‘Pray for Love’, as well a as sneak preview at some album material. If that wasn't enough, Kwabs also threw in an amazing cover of Arctic Monkey’s ‘Do I Wanna Know?’, then sat down and serenaded to a quiet audience, James Blake’s ‘The Wilhelm Scream’ and John Lennon’s ‘Jealous Guy’. It was an intimate moment, and Kwabs really connected with the crowd. The audience then started to dance and sway to ‘Fight for Love’, ‘Saved’ and lit up the whole courtyard with their mobile phone lights to ‘Cheating on me’.
The Summer Series was the perfect way to begin the weekend. The weather was great, the intimate venue meant the sound was enclosed within the courtyard, emphasising the sounds and atmosphere a whole lot more and from tonight's performance, Kwabs debut album sounds amazing – definitely watch this space!