On Tuesday, January 17th, English singer/songwriter Keaton Henson performed at The Great Hall in Toronto to a sold-out crowd! While the audience expected an emotional night by a talented and socially anxious indie artist, we weren’t expecting
an opener! However, it was announced earlier in the day that Toronto local Kenny Boothby of Little Kid would be gifting us with a solo set just before the main event.
Little Kid is still a very small band, with just over 100 followers on their Twitter, but in my opinion they should be just as big as Keaton Henson himself. Kenny’s set had a very raw sound, with the only instruments being his voice and his guitar. Many of the songs he performed were very emotional, and it was easy to tell that all the situations and feelings in the songs performed were honest and deeply personal. There was a lot of religious symbolism in the songs too, butI’m unsure about if its use was intended as a metaphor or as a tribute to Kenny’s/Little Kid’s personal beliefs. Either way, it made for some great music that could be used as easy listening, background noise, or that kind of music you listen to when you really just need a good cry!
Speaking of good cries: Keaton Henson. Hailing from London, he is a musician, visual artist and poet, and was featured on the soundtrack for English zombie television series "In The Flesh". He also suffers from anxiety, which somewhat ironically translates quite well into his often very calm yet emotional music. As soon as he stepped onto the stage (after a solo from his cellist, who we learned is named Renford), the audience was about to cheer for him but instead decided to show him a respectful silence, to help make him feel more comfortable stepping outside of his comfort zone. Keaton Henson performed his first two songs (the second of which being a personal favourite, The Pugilist) sitting on a stool with his guitar, and then moved to his piano for some of his songs. Throughout his whole set, he was joking with the audience, saying things like “now would be a good time for a mosh-pit” before performing one of his calming instrumentals.
He was even nice enough to play for us a new instrumental that he’s working on! If you’re the kind of person who enjoys music that allows you to sort of float around inside your own head for a bit, or cry, or just be very relaxed, Keaton Henson is absolutely an artist you should check out.