Gig Review: Dean Lewis | SYD | 17.11.16

Monday, November 21, 2016

Dean Lewis. Get familiar with that name now because it’ll be everywhere very shortly.  Even Apple agrees!  I’m not talking about Gwyneth and Chris Martin’s first offspring (although she probably would agree) but the giant worldwide music and technology corporation ‘Apple’ has made him their ‘artist spotlight’ this week and is featuring his single ‘Waves’.

‘Waves’ was the first track Lewis played to a small crowd of less than forty people at a secret warehouse gig in Redfern this week.  The intimate location was The Brilliant Building, which was so goldang cool it had us questioning its usual purpose (we found out later that it is a small music venue, recording studio, TV studio and has an apartment on the second level).  The back wall featured a large portrait of Jack Nicholson mid ‘Here’s Johnny’ and we were given free booze; so even before discovering the immense talent that is Dean Lewis, we were excited.

As soon as he opened his mouth, so did we.  Everyone in the room was just staring as he played, stunned at what we were witnessing - I shit you not.  Someone even mentioned afterward that Lewis will be the next Ed Sheeran and it truly was an apt observation.

He gave us a little bit of background about each of his songs and as he introduced his third song, he mentioned that his neighbours were banging on the walls telling him to shut up as he was putting it together.  We could kind of see why, as although it sounded great the content was quite violent, with one lyric mentioning his blood dripping from a knife that an ex girlfriend twisted in him.  Upon conclusion of the song, I questioned Lewis as to whether the ex in question had heard that particular song and he responded that she hadn’t and he hopes she never will as it’s “too brutal”.  Fair call.

As he began to play ‘Lose My Mind’ I thought to myself that his stage presence was similar to that of Paolo Nutini (and he looks a little like younger Paolo too – quite aesthetically pleasing IMO).  

He was absolutely owning it, despite the intimidating setting – imagine 40 pairs of eyes bearing down as you play an acoustic set, with no one moving or dancing at all.  It didn’t appear to affect him at all.

Lewis’ track ‘Don’t Hold Me’ was a solid tune that could’ve come straight off a Niall Horan album (his solo work, in case you’re not a 1D fan) and as he explained that his last song ‘Put The Phone Away’ was again about an ex girlfriend, we realised that Lewis was perhaps a little ‘Swifty’ in the way he crafts songs, basing a lot of his subject matter on actual past relationships. 

While we were only given a handful of songs, it was more than enough time for Lewis to showcase his incredible voice - akin to that of Calum Scott - and to establish some new fans (and potential stalkers).

I’ll definitely be following the career of this young chap (not just following him) and am looking forward to saying, “I saw him back when...”

Written by Kate Carnell

Check out the video for his track Waves: