For those interested in spoken word and users of Youtube a George Watsky gig is definitely something to attend! Watsky attained his fame after his rapping and poetry skills went viral in 2010 and from then on his popularity has increased so much so that the unsigned artist took his album and tour Nothing Like the First Time all the way from East to West coast USA, into London and then finished at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.
Watsky’s performances in London took place in Camden’s Barfly and Waterloo’s Old Vic Tunnels on 4 and 5 August. The gig at the Old Vic Tunnels was the gig I chose to go to and I am ecstatic I decided on this venue as it is unquestionably a distinctive performance space. The Old Vic Tunnels is a unique venue situated beneath Waterloo station and was acquired by The Old Vic back in 2010 for a variety of performances and productions. As you approach the Old Vic Tunnels you are immediately surrounded by an outstanding amount of graffiti as the tunnel outside the venue is specifically a graffiti tunnel; as soon as I saw this diverse setting I knew I was going to have an incredibly alternative night.
…a poem that was created to be much like Willy Wonka’s Pure Imagination.
From outside, the venue does seem as though you are about to walk into a small enclosed space, however the size of the tunnels is exceptional. The first room held seating, but the first thing to see was a huge portrait of George Watsky on the wall facing the entrance; this invoked masses of excitement to the crowd flowing into the venue. The second room housed the main stage and was set out much like a theatre or cinema with a space by the stage for standing and crowd- surfing. The final room had a small stage, which was for Watsky’s spoken word and poetry in between interviews, and support acts held on the main stage.
The support acts and those being interviewed included Tomska, Hannah Hart, Tim Clare and Shakka. The interviews held on stage were part of the Creators invade London campaign to help further broadcast what Youtube performers can do and who they are. Tim Clare and Shakka were two of the acts that stood out from the rest; getting the crowd warmed up for Watsky’s performance (which was anticipated further by the countdown on the cinema screen at the back of the stage.) Tim Clare’s spoken word was mind-blowing with a poem that was created to be much like Willy Wonka’s Pure Imagination. Shakka’s vocal and stage skills were incredible to watch let alone listen to.
This was an unforgettable event…
After the interviews and the support acts came what everyone had been waiting for: Watsky came onstage to terrific applause. He began with the song Energy which really got the crowd involved and moved through his album performing the moving S for Lisp, I Don’t Give a F**k and after the crowd demanded one more song finished with 4am Monday and a crowd-surf. This was an unforgettable event including diverse acts, a unique venue and George Watsky, a performer I highly recommend and look forward to seeing again.