Badly Drawn Boy in Concert Review | Laghetto dell'EUR - Rome | 21 June 2007

What is perhaps not immediately obvious about Damon Gough aka Badly Drawn Boy until you see him perform live is just how charismatic the man can be. Performing to a small crowd at the Laghetto dell'EUR in Rome last night he opened a two hour set with Born in the UK and followed that with two further songs from his latest album of the same name - Degrees of Separation and A Journey from A-B. It was during the fourth song, however, All Possibilities from his third album Have Your Fed the Fish? that he really wooed the crowd with his disarming sense of irreverent humour swaggering up and down the stage, assuming a rock star pose and defying anybody to stay seated. By the end of the song he had us eating out of his hand...getting us to clap along when he told us to and then turning on the charm once again by dedicating The Further I Slide to all the beautiful women of Italy.
Renowned for being a perfectionist – in a brief moment of rage he threw one of his guitars across the stage – at the beginning he seemed frustrated by some technical hitch, but the Rome audience loved him and seemed to cajole him out of any bad mood. Part of a mini-tour to promote the current album BDB also played some real gems from all his previous albums – Silent Sigh and Donna & Blitzen from the About A Boy Soundtrack Album were stand out wonderful versions; This is That New Song from One Plus One is One was very moving after his intimate introduction; You Were Right from Have You Fed The Fish? was another highpoint (he named this as his own personal favourite song he'd ever written); an acoustic version of The Shining from his first album, Mercury Prize winner The Hour of the Bewilderbeast; closing with a blistering version of Everybody's Stalking.
After having flown over to London to see him play One Plus One is One in its entirety a couple years ago at the Royal Festival hall it was wonderful to see him in such a small venue, although it surely can't be long before he's playing to bigger audiences in Italy too. Come back soon!