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Renowned For Sound

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Live Review: Tunde Baiyewu – 3rd June 2023 – Lafayette, London UK

3 min read
Renowned For Sound's Kayla went along to catch Lighthouse Family icon @Tunde_Baiyewu play at London's Lafayette. Full review here...

Nigerian singer-songwriter Tunde Baiyewu brought his highly anticipated ‘AWAKE’ tour to London at Lafayette in King’s Cross. Known for his soulful vocals as one half of multiplatinum pop-soul duo Lighthouse Family, Tunde’s solo career first began in 2004 with the release of his album Tunde. It became his ultimate focus when Lighthouse Family announced that they would no longer be performing together in 2022 after nearly thirty years as a two-piece.

Upon entering the charming venue, the open area was littered with attendees conversing animatedly  amongst themselves. After descending down the stairs I stepped into a more intimate auditorium space to join the spread of eager fans.  The show began with an illuminating performance from Lady Nade, accompanied by instrumentalist Holly Carter. The crowd hung onto each Americana-styled word of the Bristolian singer-songwriter as she tackled topics ranging from grief to self-love. By the end of her set, there was a sense of tranquillity among the audience.

This calmness transitioned into bubbling excitement when blue lights fell and a soft ambient instrumental resonated throughout the room. Tunde’s band took their places on the stage as the crowd moved in closer. Tunde soon emerged with a vibrant smile and infectious energy, giving high-fives to audience members as he opened with Lighthouse Family hit Lifted. The song was fitting for the warm and elevated response of the crowd. Tunde’s smooth singing was complemented by a bursting chorus, with fans happily shouting out “We could be lifted!” as they held their hands high in the air.

“There’s so much love in this room,” Tunde commented following this fond introduction, an appropriate bridge into Loving Every Minute. He allowed his gratitude to shine through as he thanked attendees for being at the show, adding a bit of a humorous kick. “Considering all of the other situations happening tonight – Burna Boy, Football – you chose to come here. You are the chosen ones.” He then continued with Light On, leading into a brief break from Lighthouse Family songs with the title track of his second solo release Diamond In A Rock. All eyes were on Tunde, his vocals falling in sweetly with delicate keys, light percussion and a bright acoustic melody. “Okay, let’s get back to some Lighthouse Family stuff,” he said before delving into more affectionate tracks – Clouds, Postcard From Heaven, Goodbye Heartbreak and Who’s Gonna Save Me Now?

Concertgoers moved softly, many holding one another as they contributed harmonies  in tune with romantic keys, captivating electric solos and rich acoustics. Reaching the halfway point of the concert with Who’s Gonna Save Me Now? The instrumentals faded away, Tunde’s silhouette highlighted as he sang “I’m just trying to get back to our glory days,” with compelling delivery.

Tunde revisited his solo projects with Awake, setting the scene for a big announcement. Expressing that he’d been fortunate enough to make solo projects, he explained that one of them was put on hold around eight years ago as he was called to make a Lighthouse Family record. He proudly announced that he’d be releasing that project this year and brought out a new song, I Saw The Light.

Closing with Lighthouse Family favourites including Lost In Space and Ocean Drive, the crowd broke out into applause as Tunde and his band took a bow. Tunde blew kisses to the audience as they left the stage, but the space was still rife with clapping and whistling. “We had to come back, you guys were so loud that even Burna Boy could hear,” Tunde said jokingly as he returned for the encore, officially ending the set with a cover of Bill Withers’ Lean On Me and top Lighthouse Family single High.

Joined by his skillful live band, Tunde Baiyewu delivered a performance that was full of heart. His delight for being on stage was apparent in the way that he engaged with the audience and the passion that worked into each of the sixteen tracks brought to Lafayette. Tunde burned brightly with his positivity, gratitude and mellifluous vocals, truly making each attendee feel chosen.

Setlist:
Lifted
Loving Every Minute
Light On
Diamond In A Rock
Clouds
Postcards
Goodbye Heartbreak
Save Me Now
Awake
Passing The Hours
I Saw The Light
Lost In Space
Free
Ocean Drive

Encore:
Lean On Me (Bill Withers cover)
High