He is wearing a large, oversized, white T-Shirt with rolled up sleeves even if he’s quite skinny. He has long, tousled hair and big brown eyes that seem to be nearly black. His hands are skilfully plucking strings on his E-guitar. This is how singer-songwriter Johnny Lloyd looks on a Saturday evening. But it’s not just an evening like any other for him, at least it shouldn’t feel like one. As a support act of The Fratellis, it’s his job to entertain the audience and get them in the right mood for the main act.
Just around quarter past seven, Johnny Lloyd and his band enter the stage, all wearing casual, but cool clothes. They start their set with a song called ‘Could You Love Another’, a song I don’t know, but I like it. While Johnny plays the E-Guitar in a way that reveals that he has been in a rock band before (for those who don’t know: he was frontman of indie-rock band Tribes), his band supports him with bass, drums and an additional E-guitar. During this first song Johnny seems to be a bit nervous but that’s totally understandable when playing the first gig of the tour and in front of a big crowd, that mainly came to see The Fratellis. His gaze is wandering around like he’s trying to find out if his audience likes what he’s doing on stage and to catch their reactions to his music. The next song he plays is’ Happy Humans‘, a more quiet, solemn song from his EP ‘Dreamland’ containing a remarkable guitar solo.
With every song, the band seems more comfortable onstage and becomes more dynamic. The melancholic, but in my opinion great and seriously memorable, song ‘Hello Death‘ (the lead song from his EP) follows. Now the band entirely catches the attention of the audience. While playing the song, covered in a bright red light, people are nodding their heads and are moving along with the beat. ‘Up On The Mountain’ is another unreleased, more upbeat song and quite contrasting to ‘Hello Death’. Then there is ‘Wanna Be Somebody Like You‘ and ‘Pilgrims‘, a sad love song. By now, some people started to sing along to the chorus (as did I, of course):
“It’s late, but I know I’ve never loved somebody like you and I’ve been thinking of you lately, and I know I’ve never loved somebody like you….”
Their next song is called ‘Beautiful People’, another unreleased song and thus not familiar to me. The last song is ‘Running Wild’. It ends the gig in a suitable manner and Johnny and his band leave the stage to heavy applause (all sweaty, but happy). His set only lasted half an hour, but Johnny Lloyd commanded the stage in his own unique way like only the best singers can and demonstrated that he’s absolutelly worth supporting The Fratellis.
A lot of the songs Johnny played, like his opening song ‘Could You Love Another’ or ‘Running Wild’ – just to mention some- are unreleased yet, but hopefully we can listen to them as often as we want to again in the form of an album or at least an EP. So please hurry and get them out Johnny!