The crowd are braced contently. The venue, a maze of perfection. The projector, well it’s a little wonky, but no one cares as Chad Valley (aka Hugo Manuel) curiously enters the stage. Brooding over a desk full of LED’s, Chad treats us to an ‘Interlude’ first before leading straight into debut album track ‘I Want Your Love’ – a profusion of shimmering pop which, with the help of some stage smoke, engulfs the room entirely.
Manuel is in London tonight to tour his new album, ‘Young Hunger’. A mixed bag of reviews it seems, but tonight he exempts all those critics with a show that blossoms with excellence. He proves his point instantly with ‘I Owe You This’, a collaborative piece with Twin Shadow (who unfortunately isn’t able to join us tonight); it’s a masterful track exploding with passion and strings of beautiful melodies which suitably explodes into complete ecstasy.
‘Up and Down’ takes a retrospective look back at Chad’s beginnings; one of the first he released just two years ago now, its positive trance and serene lyrics force the room to bounce collectively. ‘Tell All Your Friends” beats mash excellently with the pitch-perfect rhythmic vocal and we’re lured excitably into debut album favourite ‘Now That I’m Real’ – a love song if ever you’ve heard one, full of warmth and swirls brimmed to perfection. A mini rave takes place and each person present could not be any happier to be in this place, at this very moment.
Chad Valley may not have won over all the critics yet, but this is surely a movement that is taking place. One that sooner or later, isn’t going to be ignored anymore.