In 2007, Mr Hudson and the Library released an album which did well critically and gained some moderate sales. Then suddenly last year Mr Hudson himself cropped up 'Paranoid', the stand out track from the last Kanye West album, and inexplicably started being touted as Kanye's new protegee, even so far as being confirmed to appear on the next Jay-Z album. Thursday night at the Scala was the first chance for us to meet this new Mr Hudson (now no longer attaching 'The Library' to his name) and see whether his new best friend is really going to lead him to the expected superstardom.
Appearing on stage, around 45 minutes late, Ben Hudson crept out, covering his bleach blonde hair with a hood, amidst a build up so dramatic and smoke machine-tastic that it would appear that the hip hop may well have gone to his head. But, once in full swing, the awkward, geeky Mr Hudson was evident, lolloping around the stage and belting out some new tracks to the eager crowd, the best of which, ‘Supernova’ seemed to borrow from Kanye’s extensive box of beats and had the word HIT stamped all over it. London seemed to play on his mind, with Hudson spending an almost embarassing amount of time in the gig apologising for having spent so much time in the US and declaring his love for our fine city.
While older songs like 'Ask The DJ' and 'One Specific Thing' might have excited the middle class white urban boy crowd more than the newer songs, forthcoming single 'There Will Be Tears', fresh from an outing on myspace, did nearly as well. His accompanying band were musically spot on with vocalist & percussionist Joy Jones nearly stealing the show. Yet as he closed with an elaborate epic version of biggest hit 'Too Late', we can't help but wonder if his new sound, even with the Kanye West juggernaut, will have the same acclaimed yet rather too niche appeal on the general public.
Words by Ed Hallifax & Talia Kraines