Kiwanuka touches the heart

I will remember Michael Kiwanuka‘s Cambridge concert (Junction, May 22, 2012) for a long time, for two reasons: His voice is even better than on his CD, it’s heavenly. And he gifted me and my husband a wonderful moment during his song “Rest“.

When Science Boy and I arrived late at Michael Kiwanuka‘s Cambridge gig at the Junction, the only space left was in the doorway behind a tall guy. It was sold out. I have never been to a concert seeing so little, and still being so amazed. Kiwanuka’s music touches you deeply so that nothing else matters.

Atmosphere of a small living room concert

Most of the songs were from Kiwanuka’s debut album “Home Again“. The arrangements ranged from funky and ecstatic with the full band (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboards, drums, percussion), stretching songs out into jam-like sessions, to warm and soulful (just Kiwanuka and his guitar). Kiwanuka was in touch with the audience in the packed concert hall – he somehow created an atmosphere of a small living room concert.

The voice

Best about the concert was that we got to hear his beautiful, heavenly voice live. It is so much better than on the (already great) album. His soulful, slightly husky voice makes you believe every line in the lyrics. It gives you a feeling of yearning, sadness, hope. By just closing your eyes and listening to the vocals, especially in the more quiet songs (I’m Getting Ready, Worry Walks Beside Me), Kwianuka was right there next to you. Concerts are usually more intense than listening to an album at home, but this time I was surprised how much Kiwanuka can get under your skin.


While the songs and voice were touching, many arrangements brought simply joy. It was actually good to stand so far in the back, because there was room to dance (with just the exit door behind me). It was practically impossible not to move, especially during “Bones” and another song (towards the end) starting with some lines about summer feeling that I didn’t recognize from the album.

Thank you for giving me and Science Boy a wonderful moment

I’m thankful to Kiwanuka giving me and Science Boy a wonderful moment of closeness during “Rest“. We had had a little fight earlier in the day, and this song brought us together again (with me resting my head on his shoulder) reminding me of all the reasons why I married him last year.

Close your eyes
Let them rest
I ain’t in no hurry, hurry at all
Rest your head upon my shoulder
I swear I will carry, carry you on

Photos of the gig

… by Valerio Bendini can be found at Music OHM.
… by Jen O’Neill on facebook.


Kiwanuka is still touring, with dates in the U.S., and later Berlin, Isle of Wight and London coming up. Get tickets before the shows sell out!


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2 thoughts on “Kiwanuka touches the heart

  1. Really nice article. Such a good musician.

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