Bristol-born Jacob Anderson, also known as music maestro Raleigh Ritchie, stormed the O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire in London on Wednesday evening (November 28) and delivered a captivating moment in the Alternative RnB world.
Having released his album back in 2016 (You’re a Man Now, Boy), as well as sharing recent cut "Me Myself and I" at the beginning of the month, Raleigh Ritchie decided to embark on a UK and US/Canada tour. Visiting cities like Manchester, Brighton, San Francisco and Toronto, it feels like the talented singer-songwriter is in his element right now, and his performance on Wednesday night certainly proved why.
On the 4th night of his 6-date tour, Raleigh Ritchie entered the stage with infectious energy and light - not to mention his astronaut gear - and instantly captured the eyes and ears of the energetic audience in West London.
Fresh from being joined by South London singer-songwriter Sasha Keable, who sounded AMAZING by the way, Raleigh Ritchie then took to the stage to deliver a special throwback moment by performing "Stronger Than Ever" from his stellar debut album You’re a Man Now, Boy. Expressing that he “was nervous and had been looking forward” to the show the whole day, he always made a conscious effort to ensure that he kept the audience engaged throughout; offering something different from the regular live performance formula. You could tell that this skill came naturally too.
My adopted hometown, London. Filling my heart up with love and spirit. The end of the show was one of the best moments of my touring life. Thank you. You made a huge (beautiful) scary room into an intimate (still beautiful) happy place. Love. Tonight will stay in my heart RR x @danieldrock & various
The strings of the electric guitar to the bass of the drums, the audience felt every note, especially when "Keep It Simple" played. I must say that I did have high hopes for a Big Mike (Stormzy) appearance during this performance, to rap his verse on the track but, as a welcomed change, he took advantage of the empty space in the track and gave us a task to "Shower dance" (How we dance when no one is around), and this actually turned out to be one of the highlights of the night for me.
Midway through the gig, the 28-year-old had the attention of the audience in the palm of his hands and got every individual moving in some shape or form. Whether that was a small head bop or a full-on boogie, he influenced the crowd to be free and expressive in front of strangers, which offered a refreshing change to the regular concert atmosphere of phone devices being glued to the air.
“I’m not the greatest communicator but I love making songs because it gets things off my chest and it makes me feel better” - Raleigh Ritchie.
Closing his London show with two heartfelt performances of "You're a Man Now, Boy" and "Bloodsport," the appreciation of the crowd lit up the empire, with lighters and phone torches creating a spotlight on the stage. Raleigh seemed genuinely moved by the crowd's response and gave his thanks to his band before exiting the stage.
This show made me feel united and close with not just Raleigh, but his fans too, as I was able to let loose and be completely free in my surroundings, which made for a memorable experience. This was a powerful gig and a stark reminder to not sleep on the phenomenal talent that is Raleigh Ritchie.