Kentish Town’s O2 Forum was home to the second night of Raleigh Ritchie’s three-date UK tour on Thursday 28th April. It was an evening where strangers became buddies. We embraced the weird in all of us and showed off our most silliest of dances; not giving a f*ck how ridiculous we might have looked. Why? Because Raleigh Ritchie’s Werld is the best bloody kind. Embed from Getty Images
A venue full of excited fans welcomed Raleigh Ritchie to his stage; creating a pathway of cheers that paved every step he took. Within seconds of the lights dimming, the energy inside the venues walls was blooming into something rather special. A feature that became more evident as the night progressed. Raleigh literally jumped into his 90 minute set with ‘Werld Is Mine’ — the leading track from his brilliant debut album ‘You’re A Man Now, Boy’. Before taking a short pause to greet and appreciate his crowd, “Thank you for coming. How we doing tonight?” he asked. Raleigh Ritchie may have been the most important person in the building, but his down-to-earth and humble personality radiates an equality amongst everyone. A rare and loveable characteristic that continues to set him apart from the rest.
Combining tracks both old(ish) and new, Raleigh continued with ‘A Moor’, ‘Cowards’ and ‘I Can Change’, followed by the heart-warming ‘Never Better’, which he dedicated to his girlfriend. Speaking of meeting her during a dark period in his life, Raleigh gushed, “five years ago I was a f*cking wreck and I feel alright now. I’m happy now”. At that moment, he had some serious heart-melting action going on. As if we couldn’t love the guy anymore than we already did, eh!
“Who’s familiar with some of my old shit?” he asked, before throwing it back to his 2014 ‘Black and Blue Point Two’ EP with a performance of ‘The Chased’. As always, Raleigh Ritchie’s energy was set to 100. And at times, it soared so high that his flashing LED trainers were in the air more than they touched the stage. He made the most of every second, and appeared to be loving his London crowd just as much as we were loving him. A favourite moment from the night was Raleigh’s performance of ‘Stay Inside‘ — “this ones for the underdogs”, he announced — before igniting the fire in our souls with his strong, empowering words. His lyrics and the feeling he delivers them with, have a special way of inspiring our hearts, and giving strength to all the parts of us that need it the most. With him, we are totally ourselves and we embrace it. “In the next song, I want you to do the most embarrassing, silly f*cking dancing you’ve ever done in your life”, “I want you to not be embarrassed, because I think, by us all being here and you coming to see me, we’re all weird”, he said, before raising the crowds energy and confidence with ‘Keep It Simple’.
The sheer buzz in the atmosphere spanned across the entire crowd and Raleigh’s ‘Bloodsport’ just sent it to new heights. Judging by the strong sing-along, it was definitely a crowd favourite! For the encore, we were immersed in self-belief and motivation as Raleigh performed his amazing ‘Stronger Than Ever’. Before sending the energy and excitement through the roof with ‘The Greatest’, which felt like a mini party, equipped with confetti cannons and all.
Every minute was memorable. An incredible musician, performer and person — but most of all, Raleigh Ritchie is just like us — perfectly imperfect. And that is exactly why we love him.
Written by: Demi Leigh McGrane