Review by Luke Short for MPM
Just over 2 years of waiting and it finally comes…. William DuVall comes to the O2 Academy, Birmingham.
It’s is a much smaller venue than he is obviously used to, entertaining vast crowds fronting Alice In Chains and other projects, but his die-hard fan have waited so long, and he did not disappoint.
A simple set up of two guitars, a stool and a bottle of Evian water William strolls out to the stage as if he were coming into your living room and after laughing about picking up the wrong guitar slams straight into the first track…THE 3 WISHES. His voice is so unique and unlike some his velvet tones, range and emotion of vocal is just as good as it’s ever been.
The second track, and only Alice In Chains song of the night, is NEVER FADE and that was something special let me tell you. Most of the songs of the night are from his 2019 solo album ONE ALONE which is nothing short of a masterpiece in my humble opinion.
The songs are mostly dark and as per William’s words ‘ a little depressing and dark’ but there is beauty in the darkness of the meandering, dynamic melodies, lyrical content that is accompanied by his very accomplished guitar playing.
As William takes us through some stories about some of the songs it is clear he is a humble and cool guy, having a laugh and engagng the crowd as if sat around a camp- fire and it is a very comfortable environment.
He twists and turns through songs like STRUNG OUT ON A DREAM, THE VEIL OF ALL MY FEARS, WHITE HOT, SMOKE AND MIRRORS and CHAINS AROUND MY HEART with ease and he does not put a foot wrong, a true and utter professional. Come to think of it I don’t think I have ever seen him miss a note.
Throwing a few curveballs William treats us with 2 classic covers, Lady Stardust by Bowie and Seasons of Wither by Aerosmith which blew my mind. One of the highlights of the evening was a version of BLOOD MOON by his supergroup GIRAFFE TONGUE ORCHESTRA, who knew this would work acoustically!
A few more songs from ONE ALONE and he draws to a close with the favourite ‘TIL THE LIGHT GUIDES ME HOME, after which he takes a quick selfie with the audience on his phone and walks off just as casually as he walked on.
To sum up, I would go and see him again and again, a cool cat with a phenomenal voice with songwriting skills that match the best out there.