Live Report: Jordan Mackampa – KOKO, London

A night of triumph for the songwriter...

It’s been almost two weeks since the release of his album ‘Welcome Home, Kid!’ and Jordan MacKampa came to deliver the performance of a lifetime. Almost one third of the way into his UK and Europe headline ‘Homecoming Tour’, there’s a feeling that the sold-out performance at the infamous KOKO will be one to remember. 

The supporting act Nectar Woode plays a beautiful acoustic rendition of Bob Marley’s ‘Waiting in Vain’ as the venue steadily fills up mid-way through her set. Nectar’s soulful melodies and relatable subject matters captivate the crowd, warming them up for Jordan’s entrance. Just after 9pm, he arrives on stage waving to the crowd and wearing a playful sleeveless jumper with cherry embroidery and a red hat. 

As he begins to sing his first song of the night ‘PLAYGROUND’, the lampshades on stage glow with purple light as Jordan receives a warm welcome by fans. He chants “Welcome Home, Kid!” to the crowd and they respond, “It’s good to have you back!”. Many bobbing heads and shoulders flow in unison as purple lights turn blue and Jordan moves on to ‘PROUD OF YOU’, a message to his younger self. Stopping to dance with band members during the song’s introduction, it’s clear Jordan has fond, genuine relationships with those around him. Before his third song, Jordan belts out “London, how are you feeling? We’ve got a sold out show on a Wednesday.. This is going to be one for the books!”

With a symbiotic blend of soul, R&B, funk and indie-folk, Jordan balances his honest lyrics with heartfelt melodies to make music that relate to fans just as much as they do Jordan. He gets the crowd clapping and pulls out his tambourine for ‘Step By Step’ before the wistful and popular ‘What Am I’ which sees the colours of the audience moving from pinks and whites to a pronounced red hue. Looking down onto the crowd, two friends swaying at the very front of the audience can be seen belting the chorus to each other before embracing: Jordan’s music undoubtedly brings people together. In a show of appreciation, Jordan acknowledges how, “The hometown came to represent!” and it certainly did. He goes on to say how he’s “having the time of my life” and expresses his gratitude for everyone attending. 

The artist has another twirl and dance before playing the guitarists favourite song ‘Say It Ain’t So’, staying at the centre of the stage for most of the performance. Towards the end of his performance, a friend’s voicemail message plays out where she checks in to see how he is, reflecting another central theme of his album: friendship, love and mental health. He ends the performance with a piece of spoken word poetry where he reflects “I sold out KOKO so I’m living my dream”.

Words: Evie White
Photo Credit: Chloe Hashemi

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