Gregory Porter Review

International Centre, Harrogate – 11 July 2015

Gregory Porter played a sold out gig to over 2000 people in Harrogate, but his voice is so rich and his manner so personal it was if he had played over 2000 individual gigs, one to each person there.

Porter has it all: the soul of Bill Withers, the smooth class of Nat King Cole and the energy of Sammy Davis Jr, but his finest talent is him and his genuine warmth.  A unique fusion of soul and jazz. Accompanied by of four stunning supporting musicians -Yosuke Sato on alto sax, Chip Crawford at the piano, Aaron James on bass and Emanuel Harrold behind the drum kit, Porter performed a selection of songs from the albums ‘Water’, ‘Be Good’ and ‘Liquid Soul’.  An evocative songwriter, he builds close relationships with listeners, whether poignantly reflecting on his childhood with an inspirational single mother, or facing the fight for racial equality.  The venue clapped together to Liquid Spirit and hearts melted to Hey Laura. Porter’s generosity to his band allowed each to shine as he stepped into the shadows.

His voice is silky , heart rending and smooth .His material is both political , romantic and deeply thoughtful.  When stripped down to just him and piano, Porter’s voice connected with every one in the room.  Such a beautiful smooth voice of molten gold

His minimalist style is the key to the success of this performance. The ethos of every note having a place, and a reason for being played is all too easily misplaced in the quest for technical dexterity- it is wonderful to find a musician so committed to putting the storytelling nature of music to the fore.  The stage was bare. No tour bus nor convoy of trucks outside. Only the International Centre’s bulbs in use. The band set up as if to play an intimate club.

The music and the vocals felt so good throughout a set that was just under 2 hours long long. The vocal power that exudes from Mr. Porter is amazingly charismatic, his voice is emotional, he is humorous with a sexy ‘Southern Charm’. Controlling the band and guiding us to hand clap, he had Harrogate rocking

Porter is a Gospel, Blues, Jazz and Soul singer in one package..who has a gift to share, and celebrate his message of Freedom and love for all…and time generous too.  Meeting and chatting and posing for photo’s with the long line of fans waiting for him.  Still happy to speak more than an hour after the concert had finished