Review: David Duchovny, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

While he may be more commonly known as Special Agent Fox Mulder from The X Files or Hank Moody from Californication, David Duchovny has more strings to his bow than simply acting. Last year he released his third book, the critically-acclaimed Miss Subways, and he also released his second album, Every Third Thought. Last night his European tour of the same name ended its run at London’s o2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

The evening got off to a great start with support act singer-songwriter Kiol. In his early twenties, the Italian proved he’s a name to watch in the future with his tracks which include crowd pleaser Wrinkless.

Then it was time for the man himself to take to the stage. Duchovny doesn’t claim to be a pitch perfect singer and while at times his voice does get lost in the music, he certainly makes up for it with passion and enthusiasm. Commenting on his European tour, Duchovny told the surprisingly mixed crowd he’d saved the best venue until last, and it certainly seemed to be the case as the packed out Shepherds Bush Empire responded warmly to his performance, getting to their feet as he entertained them with one of his most popular tracks from first album Hell or Highwater, 3000. Accompanied by his band, Duchovny worked his way through his two albums, performing a number of songs from each including, Roman Coin, Positively Madison Avenue and Another Year as well as the title tracks from both, and even threw in a few acoustic numbers in what he joked was the ‘gluten-free’ section of the show. He also wove in a couple of covers, notably David Bowie’s Stay, which in Duchovny’s own words “an oblique political statement from your f*cked up American cousins” and “a humble comment on your Brexit thing.” Throughout the evening Duchovny chatted to his audience and his dry sense of humour shone through as he aimed a few light digs at Donald Trump (which received hearty cheers from the crowd). He also gave them a glimpse behind the music as he explained the behind some the songs, which he wrote himself, and this is where his talent lies. While Duchovny might not be your typical rock star, he is a gifted songwriter and there’s poetry in amongst the lyrics.

Duchovny soon had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand while he strutted his stuff, seemingly lost in the music as he danced around on stage. He’s certainly entertaining to watch, and his enthusiasm is infectious. He knows how to work a crowd and delighted them as he entered into their midst as he performed a stripped back version of Let It Rain during the encore, accompanied by birthday boy Colin Lee on keys, and stealing an audience member’s beer for his trouble. He and the band didn’t want to leave and neither did the crowd, so it almost seemed inevitable that there would be an additional encore, with another cover version, this time Velvet Underground’s Sweet Jane.

Whatever your opinion of his music there’s no denying that a David Duchovny concert is an entertaining experience and a night he and the crowd won’t forget in a hurry. Both he and the band seem to be having the time of their lives and it’s endearing to see people truly enjoy themselves up on stage. At the end of the show Duchovny commented that he’ll be back soon, and if the crowds reaction is anything to go by, they can’t wait.

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