KICK-STARTING his Hell of a tour in Scotland, travelling down the country via Newcastle, Ryan Hamilton found his way to Manchester’s Sound Control last night, Quays News entertainment reporter Nathan Smith went along…

Former member of Smile Smile, People on Vacation, Hamilton is definitely full of confidence embarking on his first UK headline tour. Despite being full of cold due to the weather being “sooo cold in here” the Texan manages to soldier on through the British weather.

If you can bring a Manchester crowd to this level of concentration, you’re doing well”

If anyone has seen any promotional pictures of Hamilton lately, you’ll notice a clean shaven youthful image. Starting the night with ‘Karaoke with No Crowd’ a bearded figure with overgrown hair held back by a bandana, sporting double denim and a bottle of Blossom Hill red wine took to the stage. The only indication that this figure is indeed Ryan Hamilton is the distinctive soft vocals that echo through the small venue.

Admitting a tale of breaking away from the record label, the new found freedom is definitely one the bearded front man has indulged in. Speaking to Quays News recently, Hamilton promised fans can expect a fun sweaty rock n roll show. True to his word, tracks ‘4 Letter Verb’ and ‘Records and Needles’ were given a rocky revamp with the use of distorted punk rock-eque guitars and intense guitar solos offering a new take on Hamilton’s usual soft sound.

Warm up acts for the night included 18-year-old Raffer and solo artist Danny Gruff. Raffer and Gruff both offered truly raw and natural talent with both vocals and musical capability. Raffer stripped things right back with an acoustic guitar and electronic drum kit giving the opportunity for the powerful vocals to truly shine. Gruff – standout track being ‘Compass’ – included an impressive use of the loop pedal with powerful vocals and a high level of crowd participation.

Reflecting a rough period in his life of separating from former band Smile Smile, Hamilton explains a reluctance to perform hit track ‘Be Kind, Rewind’ however, the mere mentioning of the songs title is met with positive cheers as the opening lines ‘we’ll turn the rain into sunshine’ proves to be chanty sing-along.

Bringing the night to a close – and before nearly dying from a deathly British cold – Hamilton disappears off stage “to cough” before returning to play the final track of the night ‘You Take It On the Run”. However, it is pointed out to him by his drummer that in England we opt for the phrase ‘take it up the bum’. Adapting to his British colloquialisms, he chooses to change the words of the track accordingly.

Finishing an enjoyable evening of sensational talent, Ryan Hamilton can only be expected to continue one hell of a tour…

By Nathan Smith

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