Conor Houston @ The Leadmill
An almost capacity crowd shows how highly regarded Conor Houston is in his home town. In a landscape awash with indie lad bands and beardy folksters, it is refreshing to see an artist with such a talent for writing catchy, well crafted pop songs. Drawing from influences such as Bowie, Bolan and Lou Reed, he is more than an imitator, he adds his own style to the 70s rock /pop genre he so obviously admires.
He bounced onto stage with an infectious grin, quite stunned at the size of the crowd and launched into the glam-stomp of ‘Retro Tinted Mind’, an early indication of his obvious talent. He has a poweful voice, excellent guitar skills and a confidence on stage which is surprising for someone so young.
‘The International’, ‘Champagne Eyes’ and ‘Johnny Seven’ quickly follow and have the crowd dancing yet entranced at the same time.
‘All Human Life’, ‘I Follow’ and ‘The Best Strangers in The World’ show not only his virtuosity on guitar, but also his keyboard playing, as well as his songmanship. His band are tight, and talented which gives Conor free-reign to showcase his skills.
The penultimate number is his new single ‘Loose End Lovers’ in which he plays a blistering frippesque guitar solo, rendering it catchy enough to become the next day’s earworm.
He stays on the stage on his own for the last song which is an endearing cover of Lou Reed’s ‘Goodnight Ladies’, played on the keyboard. Then it is over, far too soon, for most of the crowd.
I can see great things for Conor Houston, he has star quality throughout and I hope it won’t be long before A and R men from major labels are beating down his door.
Retro, yes, relevant, definitely!