The American music fan has happily endured the invasion and conquest of its musical tastes by British and Irish recording artists for decades now. Musical acts like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, U2, Duran Duran, Oasis etc.. only became global phenomenons after they found success in the United States, the Mount Everest of popular culture worldwide.
Mr Hudson, led by Oxford educated Londoner, Ben Hudson is probably on a similar quest as he gets his fledgling music career underway. Formed as Mr. Hudson and the Library in 2006, the band in its previous guise, has already released their debut album, “A Tale Of Two Cities” to critical reviews in Britain.
The Canal Room was the venue for the Hudson’s first ever show in New York City and was a showcase of the bands upcoming album, “Straight No Chaser,” releasing later this year through Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music label and Mercury Records. Consisting mainly of record label employees and journalists as his audience, Hudson used his Big Apple debut to gently introduce his style of typically English pop music to the American musical landscape.
Dressed in black with his low slung jeans clearly revealing his Calvin Klein boxers, Hudson’s on stage mannerisms made him seem more like Coldplay lead singer, Chris Martin than a future pop star. His music however, beginning with the 80s Bowie-inspired “White Lies” was considerably more varied. The melodic lyrics of “Lift Your Head” brought out the inner Sting from Hudson’s vocals and was probably his strongest performance of the night. “Supernova” ended the nights proceedings, but a clearly unwell and exhausted Hudson could have used the guest vocals of West to help him go out with a bang.
It was quite apparent to the crowd that Hudson has a lot going for him as a singer and a songwriter. A charmed West has apparently proclaimed him to be one of the most important artists of his generation and potentially bigger than him.
Any artist who has the biggest hip-hop artist as his mentor and names his album after one of Jazz great Thelonius Monk’s greatest albums has got to be taken seriously.
It is however, anybody’s guess if Hudson will find success in America or more importantly, be able to keep his individuality intact from the considerable influence of West.
It would be a great shame if he failed in either.
To check out video from the show, click here.