Portland Arms, Cambridge
Monday 16th October 2023
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PHILIP SETH CAMPBELL – CAMBRIDGE – LIVE REVIEW
When journeyman musician Phil Campbell left his role as frontman for The Temperance Movement in 2020, it was obvious to fans that his musical journey would continue in some shape or form. Campbell after all is a man that wears his heart on his sleeve and his heart and soul is rooted in song.
Following the release of an album with The Byson Family, that journey came full circle and now finds Campbell releasing his music under the eponymous full moniker of Philip Seth Campbell. Now with recently unleashed album, ‘City Lights’ to showcase, Campbell is back out where he belongs – on stage.
That stage tonight is found in the fantastic Portland Arms in Cambridge and opening the evening is Alice Faye. The solo musician bases herself at a piano in front of what appears to be a predominately rock orientated audience and proceeds to serenade them with a selection of delicate tunes.
You may think this could go down like a certain ill-designed balloon, but that’s not the case! Faye’s obvious talent and the receptive nature of Campbell’s fanbase means that the crowd hangs off of every note.
PHILIP SETH CAMPBELL
It isn’t long thereafter that Campbell arrives onstage with a three-piece set-up bringing songs from his career to life. The focus of course is on ‘City Lights’ and the exceptional ‘Magical West’ gets us started in the best way.
Over the course of the next hour or so each song tells its own story and it is evidently clear again that Campbell is one of the most eminently gifted singers of his generation. Campbell’s career has been a journey indeed and probably fairly described as an arduous one. It’s one however that has rewarded Campbell with incredible experiences and his fans with an embarrassment of musical riches to enjoy.
The influences on ‘City Lights’ may be more eclectic than found through the likes of The Temperance Movement, but the results all bear the spirit and essence of the man himself. The new music is resplendent tonight and old favourites like ‘Chinese Lanterns’ and finale ‘Lovers & Fighters’ still sound glorious.
It’s great to see Philip Seth Campbell back on a stage doing what he loves, and fans tonight will be glad they made the effort to support a great local venue and an incredibly talented artist commencing the latest leg of his remarkable journey.
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Watch Episode 35 of The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guest Philip Seth Campbell