The Kondoors

| September 13, 2017

The Kondoors

Pizza Express Live at Holborn, London, U.K., September 7, 2017

Reviewed by Thanasis Kalantzis for Cabaret Scenes

The Kondoors:
Jess Greenfield & Gavin Conder
Photo: Rob Blackham

Jess Greenfield and Gavin Conder, established singers in their own right in their earlier lives, met and became a couple 14 years ago, but it wasn’t until later in their relationship they realized that their voices, along with their musical influences and preferences, matched to perfection. Greenfield’s voice is natural and warm, in places husky, while Conder’s is clear and versatile, full of energy. The result was The Kondoors, a powerful, high-octane duo, which writes its own distinctive story in the musical scene of the U.K.

They appeared on stage to a room packed with fans in the newest Pizza Express Live in Holborn (an atmospheric and sleek venue conveniently located opposite the underground station) and gave us songs from their latest album, Glorious. Greenfield and Conder write their own material, with the occasional input from friends and long-time collaborators. Their sound is a sparkling blend of primarily classic pop, soul and R&B, and their musical nurturing and evolvement points to a variety of artists such as Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Dusty Springfield, Conor Reeves, and others. The result is, well, “Glorious!”

They won us over from the very beginning with the dreamy “Need You Now” (The Kondoors/Jason Silver), and continued with the title song of their album, the full of optimism “Glorious” (Tom Fuller/Marli Harwood/The Kondoors). Other stand outs were “Take Me Home” (The Kondoors/Paul Stacey), their simply amazing current single “Forgiveness” (Anna Krantz/Jess Greenfield), “Overdose” (Fuller/Harwood/The Kondoors,) the beautiful rock ballad “Postcards,” and the upbeat “Mr. Rain” (both by The Kondoors).

In between, they sang a wondrous rendition of Labrinth’s “Jealous” (Josh Kear/Natalie Hemby), the Solomon Burke recorded “Cry to Me” (Bert Russell), and finished with “With a Little Help from My Friends” (John Lennon/Paul McCartney).

Their stage conduct was friendly and comfortable and the chemistry between them palpable. They discussed their musical likes, friendships, relationship dynamics, and what makes them tick. They had fun doing what they love most, and that transmitted to the audience. Combine their presence with their abundant singing talents and you have a highly creative world-class act with a bright future.

My only criticism would be that the room’s sound system needs to be calibrated better because, at times, there was far too much music filling the room from the band of five, rendering the lyrics incomprehensible.

The Kondoors were artfully supported by Karme Caruso on keys, Dan Mount on bass, Simon Lea on drums, Ben Jones on 2nd guitar, and Scott Mckeon on 1st guitar, who gave us some really heartfelt and memorable solos.

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, London, London Cabaret Reviews, Regional

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