Review: Sean C. Johnson @ The Bedford, Balham

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Sean C Johnson

If you asked us five years ago which US artist we’d love to see live, we would have said Sean C. Johnson. Yes, he’s been to the UK a couple of times in recent years but we’ve never been able to get the dates to work. This time, we finally made it.

Sean C. Johnson is a brilliant artist to see live thanks to his deep back catalogue and his genre of soul and hip hop. It’s chilled enough to have the elements of a late night jazz cafe but still has the ‘turn up’ through his hip hop side. Sean C. Johnson is both a capable rapper and singer. This was certainly evident in the live setting we saw him in last night.

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Sometimes street, sometimes chill – such is the variety in Sean C. Johnson’s music

Sean’s fans are incredibly passionate. Even though he has a gazillion songs, the faithful sing-along crew were in full voice for every one of them.

The band was fantastic and it was good to see two female musicians on stage – the keys player and the drummer. We need more of this.

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Sean C. Johnson was backed by an incredible live band

Sean took us on a journey, where of course he touched on his newer tracks but he also tested our memories by drawing for some of the classics from the archives.

A touching moment was when he told the story of his brother who’s currently in prison but recently came to Christ. He used it as an opportunity to sing Home and remind the audience that you don’t have to wait until you’ve lost everything to come to Jesus.

Ruth Ellen
Ruth-Ellen opened proceedings with a first play of her next single

Before we knew it, our headliner was singing what was his last song, Mountains. He did give us I Surrender as an encore though.

We weren’t timing and maybe we were just enjoying ourselves but Sean’s set did feel a little on the short side. In fact, the crowd was so keen to hear Melodies (From Heaven) that they started singing it themselves at the end of the night. The band was still on stage to help them.

Shantéh did a great job in getting the crowd hyped with her performance

Sean C. Johnson clearly has a love for the UK crowds so no doubt he’ll return, hopefully with some new material.

Some of our favourite people were on the undercard. Spotify tells us that Ruth-Ellen and Shantéh were among our most played artists of 2017. The former gave us a taste of her new music, while Shantéh sang Don’t Be Foolish and her track Midnight from earlier this year. There was a little extra sauce on the performance last night.

Still Shadey
It’s always good to see how Still Shadey lights up the stage

We also had Still Shadey. His set up with backing vocalists is unique and makes his music stand out as a live performance that is different to the studio recordings. Meanwhile, Triple O admitted to being inspired by Top Boy and thus went grimey on us. We weren’t mad about it.

It was great to finally see Sean C. Johnson after waiting so long to be in the same building as him. The venue was the perfect size, type and location and atmosphere was just right to enjoy a night of brilliant live music.

Triple O
We were in South London but Triple O didn’t care. He brought those East London vibes

One Comment Add yours

  1. Ellie says:

    Absolutely agree. The event was fantastic

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