Devin Townsend - The Borderline, London

The infamous London traffic and ghostly roadworks mean I arrive at The Borderline just in time to catch the end of Danny Cavanagh's opening set. But what I do get to see is a masterful display of what just one man, an acoustic guitar and the deft use of a looper can achieve. Building layer upon layer to create dense and lush soundscapes, it is a stunningly impressive display that puts entire bands to shame for their lack of depth. The comical finale of 'Tribute', with some 'Stairway To Heaven' thrown in for good measure, shows there is also a lighter side to this morose songsmith.

Devin Townsend is, despite the supposedly more dour settings of an unplugged show, his usual maniacal self, firing off intelligently juvenile quips mid-song and tasty titbits between. The intimate surroundings allow him to bond more with the audience, joking and toying with an informal air that finds him on top comedic form tonight. And that sense of ease means that although technically he might not always be perfect, often fluffing notes and forgetting lyrics, the slightly haphazard nature is easily laughed off and only adds to the sense that tonight is something special.

His massive stage presence and overwhelming charisma ensures that the crowd is eating out of the palm of his hand right from the moment he walks on stage, whether it be for the outrageous sing-along of 'Juular' or quietening them so completely for 'Terminal' that I can hear the bar staff opening beers from across the room. This won't go down as an "I was there" gig, but for those that were, we got to witness something great and will treasure the memory of it for years to come.

Last updated: 18/04/2018 08:26:05

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