Wow. This really happened. We’ve ridden the London wave from his stints at LES poetry slams up to his full length debut Timez Are Weird These Days on Warner Brothers last year – so it’s been a long time since we’ve seen Theophilus London in such a cozy setting. A hidden speakeasy in downtown NYC proved to be the perfect space for the inagural episode of the ENCORE! Sessions, so Mike and I hightailed to Le Baron Chinatown some weeks ago. The purpose is simple: it’s a concert series supporting creative performers in an intimate space. Thanks to a partnership with FORWAR:D and Absolut there are no ticket sales or alternative agendas to curb the expression (aka me pantomiming slashing motions when we have bands swear like sailors on air), so the artists have a blank canvas to mess with and an eager audience to match.
As for the live set? Our boy opens up with a scorching rendition of “Last Name London First Name Theophilus” – we’d never witnessed the rap undertones as strongly as with his latest rendition of the classic track! Then he rolls into “Lisa” and his epic song “Big Spender“. Not featured? His awesome performance of “Flying Overseas” which had quite the chime solo (seriously are chime solos set to trump sax riffs in 2012?) where they were almost knocked off the stage. Guess they’re saving that for a video B-side. Until then, every Tuesday you’ll be able to catch more exclusive footage from the series via the Youtube page featuring The Virgins, Hearts Revolution, and our friends Friends. If you’d like to attend a gig (Little Dragon tonight, anyone?) then join the ENCORE! Sessions officially on Facebook. It’s a win-win.