Last week marked the final show of Peckham’s iconic venue before it opens its doors for the last time.
Situated in the heart of Peckham’s booming live music nightlife alongside the likes of Franks’s bar and Bold Tendencies, the venue first opened in December 2017 and have decided to refocus their brand to promote ‘the South East London Jazz scene by taking Ghost Notes out of its current physical space and turning it into an events brand’. Because of what Ghostnotes have achieved in that time, it was important that the artist representing Ghostnotes for the last time provided a fitting experience.
Louis VI delivered that and more.
The likes of Chuck 20 and Billy Dukes provided the perfect backdrop for what would be an enthralling performance by Louis VI, who did well to acknowledge the sizeable support of followers who flocked to the 5th floor of Peckham levels. Both Louis and these artists delivered what can only be described as a memorable night of incredible jazz, poetry, and rap. It was very easy to connect the ensemble of performing artists on the night with its theme of showcasing jazz-influenced underground music for the advocates of real music — an audience you find are increasingly hard to come by in today’s industry.
The first thing you notice about Louis VI’s stage presence his ability to captivate the crowd. What became very apparent in Louis’ opening performance after being introduced to the stage by Billy Dukes (a cerebral UK duo who in many respects bare much resemblance to that of cult-legends Hawk House and did an amazing job to prepare us of what was to come), was how quickly Louis enraptured listeners tuning in. On a night that featured tracks such, “Jazz Got Me’ featuring Mick Jenkins, and “We’ve been running”, produced by the man himself, it’s fair to say what we witnessed was far less performance as it was an experience. You could quickly grasp the concept of what music meant to Louis VI, not just as an artist, but a fan of the music he represents. Showing support for the likes of producer-rapper Dozer Carter, he would bring out his best friend to perform “Station Wagon” much to the admiration of the crowd before using the opportunity to showcase new music the two have created.
In between tracks, Louis would take a moment to dedicate the ode to something significant in his past experiences, making sense of every track from the instrumentation, to the hooks and sound. Louis VI’s demonstrated why his music exists outside of the current lyrical stratosphere, why he collaborates with underground artists arguably out of the remit of what we here today. He is less concerned with putting out music that generates what we identify as ‘clout’ and more interested in promoting a sound that draws upon various eras of music’s golden ages. If this wasn’t apparent with the highly introspective line up of artists on the night, Louis produced a show that encapsulates unconventional instrumentation, aided by the use of jazz-soaked synths and steeped in Motown-esque reverberation.
What we are seeing in Louis VI is a pioneer of a sound that is hard to find in this day and age; an artist who seeks to lead the reincarnation of music that is these days hard to come by. If you had the pleasure of witnessing Louis VI at work last week, all of the above will be nothing more than an affirmation of everything music today lacks. If you couldn’t make the show, it’s not too late either.
Whilst we look forward to seeing what’s next in store for Ghostnotes, we are even more excited to see what the future holds for Louis VI.