Thursday 30 November 2023

Live Review: Devon, The Louisiana Bristol 29 Novemeber 2023

It's hard to believe it's been almost 10 years since I last visited The Louisiana, but last night saw me make my long overdue trip back to get amongst its sweaty walls and sweltering temperatures for a dazzling display of jangly guitar rock courtesy of Devon. 

Opening the proceedings, Bristol's Clemencie were quick to draw in the crowd with their captivating, empowered pop. With just two tracks on Spotify, they proved to have far more hits up their sleeve as they delivered a euphoric introduction to their heartbreak lamenting sound. From soft moments of slow swooning vocals to catchy guitar riffs and synth arpeggiated melodies, the band are quick to get the crowd up on their feet and served as the perfect opener for the night's entertainment.

There's no snobbery here. The only way to the stage is through the crowd and as cheers marked the entrance of Devon he finally emerged and became visible through a sea of parted hands and smiling faces. I last had the pleasure of seeing him at Cardiff's Swn Festival 4 years ago, so a headline show in as close to a hometown gig as could be was a no brainer. And one that certainly lived up to the hype. 

Through convulsing basslines, scattered percussion and pinpoint accurate delivery, the Forest of Dean based local delivered in every sense of the word. From full room singalongs to Trust Issues to his most recent single Smile, which saw a dazzling backdrop of synthesised electronics and soaring vocal choruses transcend in to the room, the energy never faltered. 

Slowing things down for a heartfelt, emotional tribute to the band's late friend, Devon was quick to embrace the sombreness and had everyone introduce themselves to the person stood next to them with a hug and a handshake. A touching moment that will be forever remembered. 

Switching from bass, to guitar, to keys, and back to guitar it's hard to keep up. But one thing's for certain, when he says "This next one slaps", he's not wrong as he launched in to each and every song like it was his last. All the while completely taken aback by the love in the room as he smiled ear to ear with a hand on his face taking it in.

Sadly though all good things must come to an end as he announced they're just not big enough for an encore. I think the crowd inside would beg to differ as they bounced around frantically to the chaotically explosive I DONT WANT 2 B UR FRIEND.

From bedroom pop, to sold out headline shows, Devon's continued trajectory holds no bounds through his maturing songwriting talents. And if tonight was anything to go by, the future is very bright. Be sure to catch him in these intimate venues whilst you still can. 



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