When it comes to soul and related circles, there are few names whose credentials stack up quite as strong as Omar. A true soldier, and arguably the father of the UK scene, an illustrious career has seen collaborations with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Angie Stone, Erykah Badu and a whole load more, but it is when he has all the spotlight that he is at his best.
Before we get into it, a special mention goes to Dan Dowker who warmed up proceedings on the night with an expert blend of tunes perfectly suited to the situation. Never an easy task with such a performer set to follow.
Backed by a group of four, a relatively short, but very sweet set followed from the man himself. Packed full of hits, including 'Be Thankful', 'There’s Nothing Like This' alongside newer material from 'Love In Beats (2017)' and 'The Man (2013)'. But the biggest reaction of the night was saved for a special rendition of the Roy Ayers classic, 'Everybody Loves The Sunshine'. Apt, given that the US vibes man is due to hit the exact same venue just two weeks later, not to be missed.
Whether on the mic or picking out melodies on the Nord (making full use of the pitch bend), Omar was sounding as good as ever, having seemingly aged about five years in the last 20, and despite a smaller crowd than you’d expect for a booking of his calibre, there was a big smile on his face all night.
There aren’t many who can weave soul, jazz, hip-hop, latin and more in the way this man can so if you ever get the chance, do the right thing and get yourself a ticket.