LivePLAY: Daughn Gibson, Electrowerkz, London, 05/09/13

IMG_28271We’ll warn you now: this will probably be the worst, most unprofessional review of any live gig. In our defence, it’s hard to maintain any modicum of objectivity when Daughn Gibson saunters on stage. Clad in a black vest and and a layer of sweat from a baking London night, all 6’4 of Gibson is unfairly attractive. Whether it’s the tousled hair, the chiselled jaw, or – probably quite important – that deep seductive baritone, both men and the large number of women in the audience tonight could agree that this former trucker could drive his juggernaut all the way through us. So to speak.

It’s as if Gibson knows it though. After declaring that it’s his wedding anniversary (gutted), he continues to flirt and toy with the audience, twiddling knobs on his panel of samples as if approaching coitus. It makes Gibson a treat to watch musically, revelling in his own music the way any artiste should.

Despite a very poorly judged thrash version of The Sound of Law, most of the Me Moan set (and the All Hell throwback like In the Beginning) is a testament to his creativity. A voice that might otherwise settle to be a Johnny Cash tribute act is honed and polished over production that few, if any, blues artists command these days. And it’s a niche Gibson embodies so fully and gloriously that you wouldn’t want anyone else to even try replicating it.

It’s that sort of charisma that carries the gig, but it’s one which, shallow bias and raging horn aside, is monumentally let down by the venue itself. Downstairs at Electrowerkz is no place for a gig at the best of times, let alone a frantic, frenzied hour of electronic blues. For an act whose voice is so key to his appeal, drowning it out in a sea of reverb is a complete buzzkill. Luckily for Gibson, a cheeky wink and a smile go a long way to make up for it… oh, and a manner so attractive you’d let it destroy your ovaries. That helps too.