The usually refined Deaf Institute with its animal print wallpaper and red cushioned seats has tonight been transformed into something much more in line with the euphoric electronics of Tourist. Huge lights stand tall and form an arch around Tourist’s impressive array of production equipment that consists of a drum pad, keyboard and a couple of mixing desks. This alone is enough to build anticipation, as it is clear that Tourist has really thought out his live show instead of simply turning up and playing his tracks in the easiest way possible.

Tourist (William Phillips) has a Grammy to his name for co-writing Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’ and has delivered a number of well-received remixes and EPs ahead of his debut album U. This, although packed with songs that can make you dance, goes much deeper and documents the breakdown of a relationship in its ten intimate, personal tracks.

His album reflects his verbalised desire to tell stories through his music and his lack of interest in beats or scenes. This is possibly why it bares more teeth than some other electronic records, and has caused the Deaf Institute to sell out in its entirety.

The stage is soon plunged into darkness and the floppy haired Tourist appears. He effortlessly flits between his equipment as a spectrum of colours flash from behind him producing an epileptic, contorting sensation. ‘To Have You Back’, the lead single, is enhanced by an increased lead in, before the multi-faceted yet catchy track rings around the venue. ‘Run’ is euphoric and its light nature sends a wave of relief crashing through the audience. However, it is some of the less obvious tracks such as ‘Separate Ways’ that really steal the show, delighting all with its jungle drums and ethereal voice.

There are star turns for remixes and tracks with guest vocalists, although absent tonight, such as ‘I Can’t Keep Up’ featuring Will Heard, but these ultimately just serve to break the narrative thread that weaves through the record and has transcended so nicely into tonight. Judging by tonight’s performance and the crazed like reaction from his fans, Tourist will be around for a long time. There aren’t an abundance of electronic musicians who can tell stories through their work, master an array of instruments and send a crowd near delirious. Tourist will soon be known the world over and his music will soon clash with his name, as it will be able to find a home anywhere.

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Paddy Kinsella

Hi all, my name is Paddy and I have a love for everything from African music to indie to house (basically anything other than heavy metal). Gigging and listening to albums are genuinely the things I most value and love doing.