Callum Spencer, Oporto

A wet Wednesday night drew punters into a smoky Oporto, where local boy Callum Spencer was due to perform*. Opened by Harry Heart, an solo musician based between Australia and London, the evening kicked off with a sophistication…

Callum Spencer, Oporto, 15/3/23

Heart’s set delivered a mix of electric and acoustic guitars, but that was all; no backing band or session instrumentalists, which is where the two artists’ performances differed. This showcase was soft and refined, while he noted that most of his previous releases had been produced with synths rather than in the format we enjoyed the gig. And at times, I could even conjure up some modest similarities between him and Benjamin Francis Leftwich.

Harry Heart, Oporto, 15/3/23

It was a stellar start to what was obviously something of a hometown event for Callum Spencer, who had evidently drawn out half of Skipton, from a glance around. There was a real plethora of ages in the crowd, which made for a really touching turnout, and everyone was buoyant; that was the common denominator.

Lighting-wise, Blackpool Illuminations had nothing on the brightness of the place. In their kaleidoscopic colours, the lights darted across the room and picked up every smiling face. And Spencer was electric throughout as a result.

The singer-songwriters of the industry are very much having their day at the moment, which would make it remiss of me not to proffer a comparison between what I witnessed and the likes of Sam Fender et al. But for a cover, it was Damien Rice who was the choice outfit to do a rendition of. And it was superbly executed, just Callum Spencer and his acoustic guitar, while his band exited the stage for a short hiatus.

Callum Spencer, Oporto, 15/3/23

Every song played was served outstandingly. With pipes as powerful as that, you’ll bet this emerging Skipton lad will go very far indeed.

*With thanks to Callum Spencer for the guestlist entry.

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