Nov 20 2018

Live Review: Tom Misch – Beatmaker to Heatmaker

Fresh off his month-long tour of the US, South London’s very own Tom Misch brings the Geography tour to the Brixton Academy in his biggest show to date featuring his two siblings, guest appearances from Poppy Ajudha and Zak Abel and one gigantic disco ball.

If the release of his debut album Geography earlier this year didn’t, then this tour has certainly cemented Misch’s place as one of the hottest properties in UK music. With back to back shows in London and a string of sold out dates across Europe, he has come a long way since Youtube’s Majestic Casual helped propel the Soundcloud beatmaker into the public eye four or five years ago.


Having been on the road pretty much since the album release, ticking off Coachella, Electric Picnic and Parklife on the festival circuit, the Misch man has a shedload of stage hours behind him and it tells. The set is professional, assured and remarkably polished for his first major solo tour.

There is little in the way of crowd interaction and some of the songs are pretty lacklustre including ‘I Wish’ and the incredibly corny ‘Lost In Paris’. However, the setlist certainly has its moments including the Bossa Nova inspired ‘It Runs Through Me,’ and the ever-so-groovy ‘Disco Yes’ supported by one of the buzziest talents of the moment Poppy Ajudha, with a wee bit of help from an enormous disco ball.


Coming from a self-proclaimed bohemian family where everyone is obscenely talented, both Tom’s sisters make special appearances on stage; Polly as a vocalist (for the intro to the dreamy ‘Movie’), and Laura on saxophone on his woozy breakout hit and personal favourite ‘Follow.’


From beatmaker to heatmaker, the appreciation for J Dilla is evident in the latter half of his set. Misch gets his teeth into a medley of Hip-Hop classics, noodling his guitar riffs through The Pharcyde’s ‘Runnin’, Dr Dre’s ‘Xxplosive’ and culminating in Biggie’s ‘Big Poppa.’ Support act Barney Artist storms out just as the song drops and remixes the iconic beat to his own bars, hey-ho’ing his way to the hearts of 5000-strong faithful.



UK crooner Zak Abel comes out for the infectious ‘Beautiful Escape’ which gets the crowd two-stepping, before Tom and Co close the set with two songs including the aptly titled ‘South of the River’ which goes down a treat with the Brixton massive.

Overall Geography is nowhere near the Dilla influenced early days and feels miles away from Beat Tapes 1 and 2 which rings true when you look around the room, as his earlier songs feel quite unfamiliar. Having said that, his progression in this short span is immense considering the guy is only 23. What he’s proven over the years is that he is way more than just another Soundcloud beatmaker is well on the way to cementing his place as one of the UK’s most talked about talents.

Words by Dinesh Mattu