Jonathan Richman, The Amersham Arms

Coming out of a gig and having jaw cramp is surely a good sign (no, it was nothing sinister); I don’t think I actually stopped smiling. I was completely mesmerized by the charisma and charm of Jonathan Richman and the way he handled the no power situation so coolly seconds after walking on stage with Tommy Larkins by engaging the audience with a comedy acoustic number. It almost felt as though the encore had come early.

I love the fact that he’s only touring at tiny, intimate venues in London (definitely some of the best venue’s in The Smoke) and they do need to be small so he can fully engage with every member of the audience and last night in particular, see every bead of sweat dripping from our faces. (He requested that the air conditioning be turned off so his voice wasn’t backed by ‘a leaf blower’). He was certainly suffering on stage too but I don’t think he knew it was going to be quite so sweaty or he may not have worn a woolen shirt over a T-shirt.

The audience got the full works, his theatrical facial expressions, some surprisingly impressive dance moves including a high kick that went way over his head, (any other 59 year olds hip might have ended up in the crowd), intermittent French and Spanish lyrics, constant humour, a sneak preview into his new album as well as old favourites and probably the best gig of the year so far.

If you’re quick you may just catch him on his final London date at The Tabeernacle this coming Monday 11th October. You won’t be disappointed.

Richman you are a genius, I heart thee.

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