Zarif @ Hoxton Bar & Grill 9th February 2009

After turning down the opportunity to see the recording of the Album Chart Show for Channel 4 which featured All American Rejects, Friendly Fires, Starsailor and The Wombats I decided to go see a solo artist called Zarif.

Prior to the actual gig I had not heard any material from Zarif apart from the forthcoming single Let Me Back. I got at the venue about 6 o’ clock it was pouring down with rain and my hair was dripping wet. I then went off to dry my dripping hair then I sat outside the doors hearing the soundcheck. Songs I heard being soundchecked were Box Of Secrets and Over.

Well doors opened around 8.45. I went in took a cassete tape of Let Me Back then went straight to the front. There was now support acts even though it had been billed as having 2 support acts.

Zarif came on stage and launched into Over. When hearing this song live the style of music is a blend of pop, jazz and soul. Over is about a guy and a girl and the relationship is over. This song as soon as it gets into the chorus that’s when it starts to pick up pace.

Next up its California. California is a slow song compared to Over. Where it picks up is when it gets to the chorus then after it slows down again. Considering I like my songs to pick up pace California is definitely a grower.

Three songs in and Zarif sings her forthcoming single Let Me Back. As soon as the song starts you know what it is. Before Zarif starts belting out the song she is shaking her star shaped tambourine. This song is amazing and it definitely deserves to make a mark on the Top 40 when it is released in April. This song is so infectious it is stuck in my head. This song is just a great song it has everything I love the style of music, the actual melody of the song and the lyrics are infectious. As the song starts up and the music plays you know what it is before she starts singing. When Let Me Back is over there is a applause.

Cant Do Nothing is the next song. I like this song the chorus is catchy its one you don’t forget. I am looking forward to hearing what this track sounds like when it is mastered and released.

Summer In Your Eyes is the next song to be played and it is a new song which has not been performed. When I first heard the song it was another slow one. Initially I don’t like slow songs but if I hear them quite a few times the song can grow on me.

The 6th song is Seen It All Before. I like this song. It starts off at a slow pace. As soon as it gets to the chorus it picks up pace then slows down again. Towards the end the pace picks up and Zarif belts out the remaider of the song. This is another song I am looking forward to hearing a studio version of.

The final song of the night is Box Of Secrets. This was used in a advert for Sky 1. This was a amazing song and a really good one to end a brilliant set. This song is catchy and picks up pace from the very start. When I first heard the chorus in the soundcheck I thought it sounded a bit cheesy. But after hearing it I love the song.

SET LIST

Over
California
Let Me Back
Cant Do Nothing
Summer In Your Eyes
Seen It All Before
Box Of Secrets

BEST TRACK – As much as I loved the 7 track set my best song had to be LET ME BACK. All the songs sounded perfect live. Music live sounds different compared to listening to a music on CD. I reckon hearing music live is better compared to CD because you have the atmosphere and the artist is giving it their all for the fans.

OVERALL – I enjoyed this gig. Even though it was my first time seeing Zarif there are songs that I can remember after only hearing once. It is hard to compare Zarif to any one particular artist. You could compare her to Amy Winehouse with added pop to her music. Well I would definitely see her again and I plan to see her at the launch of Let Me Back in April. Also Zarif is such a wonderful person.

I give this gig: 7.5/10

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