A sense of anticipation permeated the air outside The Haunt on Friday 13th…
This wasn’t anything to do with the coincidental venue name coupled with the ominous date; it was instead the eager anticipation that accompanies great artists playing live. It was a familiar atmosphere to anyone who’d been to see Jordan Rakei a year ago at Green Door Store. However what separated this occasion to the last was the tripling of attendance.
It has only been a year since his debut album, but this second LP, ‘Wallflower,’ has evidently galvanised soul/jazz/R&B fans Brighton-wide because The Haunt, like many other venues on his tour, was sold out. After struggling to squeeze our way through a dense array of excited sapiens’, spilling at least half of each beer onto thirsty knuckles in the process, we reached a suitable distance from the stage. Jordan, with his usual humility, even when facing a rapturous roar from the crowd, simply pondered onto the stage without milking the applause and started playing.
He started with his beautiful album opener, ‘Eye to Eye,’ every bit as impressive on stage as it is on record. I’d half expected him to play the album in full, and was excited by the prospect, but he chucked in some of his best songs from previous releases which was also, lo and behold, very exciting. Although not my favourite of his songs, ‘Blame it on the Youth’ was undoubtedly his best on this brisk October night. It was anthemic and had the crowd crowing.
It was not only a pleasure to see this man and his phenomenal band perform again, but also a thrill to see his popularity sore over the past year. It is certainly richly deserved and we, his fans, are excited for what’s to come.
Friday 13th may be unlucky for some, but for us crammed into The Haunt with someone who made the most out of Facebook’s ticket-selling underworld among us, we felt fortunate to be in Mr Rakei’s presence.
(Photography: Ghaleb Rha)