Live Review / Saint Raymond @ The Library, Institute (9.02.15)

After a successful couple of years touring with the likes of Haim and Ed Sheeran, it was only right that Saint Raymond finally embarked on his own UK tour. With support from Zibra and Fickle Friends, Birmingham’s Institute was packed-out and waiting in anticipation for the Nottingham-born singer-songwriter to arrive on stage. With raucous cheers during an intro with his band that saw the venue lit ablaze with white lights and raging guitars, he launched straight into songs from his first EP, Escapade.

It really shows the lyrical talent of Saint Raymond, real name Callum Burrows, in that when he began playing ‘Brighter Days’ the entire crowd sung the words back at him. It was obvious this was a fan favourite and left Burrows with a glorious smile on his face before playing new song, ‘Mojito Sundays’.

The crowd aided Burrows through popular single ‘I Want You’, both a festival staple and also a personal favourite of mine, to the point where he no longer had to sing due to the sheer volume of the collective voices. Later on in the set, he introduced new single ‘Come Back To You’ (due to be released in April) with the small stage evidently not big enough for Burrows and his band. This was displayed tremendously by his furious head banging and his tongue permanently sticking out, whipping the crowd into a frenzy throughout the evening.

A particular highlight of the night was Burrows speaking of how he’d written a new song a week before going on tour, everyone listening intently. ‘Movie On My Mind’ is a gorgeously simple ballad, and left much of the crowd in awe at the sheer talent he possesses – I know I certainly couldn’t write a song, and a song of such quality, in such a short space of time and feel comfortable performing it so soon after.

Another highlight was most definitely the encore of the set, beginning with ‘As We Are Now’; a song Burrows recently told me in an interview was his favourite song he’d written so far due to its personal inspiration. Everyone in the Institute’s Library knew the words to the acoustic ballad about growing up and everyone leaving for university – it was an unforgettable and truly magical moment in a show that left the entire crowd aching for more. It also changed the tone of the show, afterwards being swiftly changed up by the inclusion of more upbeat songs ‘Young Blood’ and ‘Ghosts’ (from their eponymous EPs).

It seemed that Burrows simply wanted to drink in the applause and cheers both during and after set closers ‘Bonfires’ and ‘Fall At Your Feet’, due to him being unable to keep the smile off his face when we sang along with him. Even more so, when he noticed the many people in the crowd that found their way onto people’s shoulders to enjoy the show from a higher view, he couldn’t help but suppress the laughter.

It is clear that Saint Raymond will be enjoying a huge amount of success this year once his debut album is released, and I for one can’t wait to see him light up larger stages in the near future.

Saint Raymond’s debut album is set to be released 5th July 2015.

Words by Kirstie Sutherland

[Originally posted on Redbrick Music]

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