It’s been a massive few years for Callum Burrows aka Saint Raymond, he’s opened for Haim on both of their sell-out UK tours, and before Christmas he was playing Wembley Stadium as Ed Sheeran’s main support act. It comes as no surprise then that even at 2pm on a school day, there’s already a small but dedicated queue forming outside of Camden’s Koko Club.
Taking to the stage first, Zibra encompass the gleeful spirit that has made bands like Two Door Cinema Club a hit all over the world. The crowd takes a while to open up to the band but gradually, the talking quietens down and the audiences collective ears prick up and take notice of this lively and loveable band.
Having only heard of Fickle Friends in name only previous to tonight’s show, their set was met with excited anticipation and it’s always a great feeling when a band not only meet your expectations, but then proceed to surpass them monumentally. Taking in some of the sultriness of Broods, the synths of Robyn and adding in some simple yet wonderful riffs, Fickle Friends pump out their set that’s less blast in a glass but more consecutive blasts in consecutive shot glasses. Frontwoman Natti’s voice is so wonderfully soft and is capable of creating so many more atmospheric layers to the bands sound. I want to be friends with Fickle Friends (thanks for the sticker and free CD guys!).
Whilst waiting for Saint Raymond, my conversation was interrupted by a teenage child who asked me if I was a fan of Ed Sheeran (this was met with my eyebrow being raised so far in horror that it almost transcended my face) sporting a Saint Raymond Wristband as well as a number on her hand, and that’s when it hit me – Saint Raymond’s kind of a big deal now.
Taking to the stage in a blaze of deafening screams that I’m sure at more than one point only dogs could hear. Tearing through tracks such as ‘Young Blood’ and ‘Fall At Your Feet’ there is not one mouth in this crowd that’s not singing back every single word. ‘I Want You’ has become somewhat of an anthem during Saint Raymond gigs and tonight it is met with enough loving gusto that the roof of Koko might have been in danger of blowing straight off.
The tenderest moment of the night comes during ‘As We Are Now’, a slow powerful ode to youth that stops everyone in their tracks with it’s realness. Burrows skill as a songwriter and lyricist are at their best here and the smile residing on his face shows that the young musician takes as much joy in his work as we take in listening to the finished products.
Despite hailing from Nottingham, this London show is made to feel like one of those epic homecoming gigs purely for the fact that Saint Raymond’s spiritual home is on a stage in front of his adoring fans. Yes he may have found some of his newer fans thanks to supporting Ed Sheeran, but how could they not have become such? With an album out later in the year, Callum’s star is firmly on the rise.