Thursday past, Declan McKenna played a sold out headlining show at The Garage in Highbury and Islington. The first thing that crossed our mind when arriving at the venue was “Where on Earth are half of the crowd if this is a sold out show”. Soon the question was answered as more attempted to join the massive crowd at the bar where half had already retreated to grab a pint. Soon enough, it was time for Declan to come on stage and the lights faded and cheers and screams erupted as McKenna requested that everyone come see him instead of a pint of Stella. Decked out in a white jumpsuit and a ton of glitter on his face, he starts the show of with fan favourite ‘Isombard’. It’s almost as if we’re at Glastonbury festival a few months too early, both by the way he is dressed and the energy resonating in the room. He followed this up swiftly with ‘Bethlehem’ which sent everyone jumping up and down.
McKenna, who is currently working on a brand new album, made sure to treat his fans to a sample of his latest work by playing a number of new songs off the album including one titled ‘Make You a Queen’. All new tracks played were positively received by the crowd who chatter about how excited are about the release in between songs. McKenna also interacts withe the crowd incredibly well, he spends most of his time on stage cracking jokes between tunes, he is extremely charismatic. His performance, shows that over the last year he has grown in confidence as an artist.
One of the most exciting things about his set for his fans however was the fact that dotted around the venue were posters informing fans that they had the chance to participate in making the live video for his single ‘The Kids Don’t Wanna Go Home’ by recording the chorus in landscape mode on their phones. Sure enough, when the time finally creeps around, fans do not hesitate to get involved and everyone has their smart phone up in the air to take a video.
Unfortunately, the night did have to end with McKenna playing ‘Paracetamol’ and ending his set with ‘Brazil’ in which he launches himself into the crowd. The fans enjoyment of the night is truly captured in the fact that they chanted his name for ages waiting for an encore that was not to come. Declan McKenna, truly is one of the best in our indie scene at the moment and will probably be moving on to bigger things quite soon.