Gig Review: Shlomo - London Wonderground ✭✭✭✭✭

Photo by  Thomas Bowles Photography
London Wonderground

Review by Emma Curry

Shlomo holds quite a special place in my reviewing heart – his show at the Union Chapel in Islington in October 2011 was the first thing I ever saw for Backstage Pass, back in the not-too-distant days when I’d just moved to London, didn’t really know my way around, and the most exciting or edgy show I’d ever seen was my local panto.

I was really excited to see him perform again, then, on Tuesday, almost two years (and countless gigs, plays, and comedy shows) on; and quite fittingly this new show was also about personal journeys. In the whimsical surroundings of London Wonderground’s Big Top, he took us on a hilarious, heartfelt and charming musical trip through his childhood as an aspiring astronaut, his teenage years as an astrophysicist at university, his adventures gigging and touring as a member of hip hop group Foreign Beggars, and his latest exploits as a parent of a truly adorable two-year-old son; all with a little help throughout from his magical beatboxing skills (and trusty Loop station).

I could spend a whole day listing all of the things I love about watching Shlomo perform, all of which were in force at this show: his talent, his creativity, his enthusiasm, his unpretentiousness, and the sheer, palpable passion with which he talks about and performs music (to name but a few). But the best way of summarising it would be to focus on just one of the pieces from the night: his fabulous beatbox ballet. With the help of fellow beatboxer Reeps One, and Nancy Osbaldeston of the English National Ballet, Shlomo created a truly amazing and original piece of performance art: as Reeps and Shlomo alternated and improvised music and rhythms, Osbaldeston gracefully leapt and pirouetted, mirroring and responding to their vocal gymnastics. It was breathtaking to watch, and such a unique and brilliant idea: something I really hope they can do more of in the future.

So if you’ve never seen Shlomo perform…well, what are you waiting for? Book a ticket now. RIGHT NOW. I promise you that you won’t regret it! And you’ll never look at a drum kit in the same way again…

Five stars ✭✭✭✭✭