Beck is the chameleon of pop music. You want a ballad? You want a rocking guitar solo? You want a funky dance song? Beck does it all with exceptional ease. And with new album Colors out today (13th October), Beck returned to the capital to play a secret intimate show at London Bridge’s Omeara last Sunday for an ‘All the Colors Live’ show, announced at 1pm on the day. Despite the advertising, Beck did not play Colors in full, but he did play all those aforementioned styles, and more.
Opening with an introspective ballad section, taken mainly from 2014’s Morning Phase, the crowd was hushed, listening intensely to Beck and his extremely accomplished band. In his jet-lagged state, he mentioned that this would be the most “Mumford moment” we’d be getting, referencing the fact that Omeara is owned by one of the members of Mumford and Sons. However, this was nothing like Mumford; this was not folk for stadiums, this was folk for each individual in the room. He playfully interacted with the audience, like a preacher, between songs. He showed support for Bono in the face of people shouting “Fuck U2!” in relation to his recent supporting stunt with the band and expressed his dislike for the word “lit” (he much prefers “wowzer”).
“This was not folk for stadiums, this was folk for each individual in the room”
Later on, the big hits came thick and fast and the party really took shape: ‘Devil’s Haircut’, ‘Black Tambourine’, ‘Dreams’, ‘E-Pro’, and ‘Loser’, to name but a few. Beck’s music is part of the furniture in many people’s music libraries, with numerous tracks you’d be sure to recognise. ‘Devil’s Haircut’ hit hard and the crowd responded with manic jumping and screaming. The temperature in the room rose significantly, and didn’t drop for the rest of the show’s duration. During ‘Dreams’, the band gently slowed down the song slightly but this did nothing to stop the crowd singing the backing vocals so loudly that the band were visibly taken aback, not least bassist Dwayne Moore, whose face suggested he was rather impressed with the reception. There was even time for some rarities with ‘Nausea’, which got its first live performance since 2012, and newbie ‘Up All Night’, performed for the very first time. And with the final “I’m a loser baby so why don’t you kill me”, it seemed like it was all over.
“The temperature in the room rose significantly, and didn’t drop for the rest of the show’s duration”
Returning for one last song, ‘Where It’s At’, the instrumentalists showed all their prowess as Beck introduced them one-by-one, each responding with snippets of other famous songs such as ‘London Calling’ by The Clash, Gary Numan’s ‘Cars’ and family favourite ‘In The Air Tonight’ by Phil Collins. And now it really was over. People laughed, people cried, people sang and people danced. Beck brought all the colours to London on a Sunday evening; a perfect concert.
Beck’s new album Colors is out today.