From supporting The Wanted on their UK arena tour to the refined opulence of Soho House, the past few months have been quite a journey for Ben Montague. And it’s in the environs of the latter that we find him tonight, treating the assembled audience to a truly intimate performance. Stripped back to an uncluttered minimum, Montague’s vocals were given room to shine to the fore – and what a voice, a rousing statement of intent that stands as a rallying call for a fresh British male solo artist to finally stand up there alongside the influx of songstresses we’ve had of late.
Montague’s four-track set - comprising well-rounded numbers Another Heart Fall and Pull The Trigger, intensely moving piano ballad Haunted and current single Love Like Stars – presented a talent very much occupying that tricky middle-ground of commercial appeal. The songs have the instant pop hooks to sway the likes of Radio 1’s playlisting committee, but beyond that, there’s a maturity in the lyrics and production that speaks to an older audience too. It’s Montague’s knack at straddling both at once that really stands out, and gives the impression that his upcoming debut LP Tales of Flying and Falling will be impressively consistent.
Interspersing his set with cheeky banter and the proficiency of a singer very much within the classic vein – born of hours on the road and a simple enthusiasm for what he does – Montague is a leather jacketed troubadour of the old ways for new, modern times.
Love Like Stars is released on the 18th June.