Blanco White @ Hoxton Square Bar and Grill, London, 12/12/2017

In a room that's as jampacked and stiflingly hot as the (severely delayed) Central Line train I've just left, Blanco White still sends a chill down my spine. A project started by Josh Edwards back in 2014 and now signed to the fast-rising Yucatan Records, the output is a seductive blend of Spanish and flamenco-inspired guitar tones and ethereal string and vocal textures. I recently wrote an Introducing piece about him, waxing lyrical about his unique voice, and it's as haunting and arresting live as on the recordings that have garnered fans at an alarming rate.

He and his group of flawless backing musicians – Fred Claridge on drums, Charlotte Schnurr on violin and backing vocals, Nick Jackson on electric guitar and Malena Zavala on bass and backing vocals – has the audience captivated throughout the dazzling set. Edwards manages to vary it well, switching between different types of guitar and finishing on some (slightly) more upbeat, older material.

The gorgeous flamenco intro to "El Bujo" provides an unassuming reminder of his exceptional talent with the instrument; the product of time spent studying in Cadiz, Spain. Previous song, "Lie Alone", sees him yield the charango (a sort of mini 12-stringed guitar, which he learned to play in Bolivia), performing mostly solo with the crowd in the palm of his hand. While the other musicians take an offstage break, he plays a couple of affecting electric guitar solo numbers ("Domingo" and "Sol"), before bringing us roaring back with "Colder Heavens", an unsurprising crowd favourite, having now surpassed 12 million streams on Spotify.

Off the back of a full European tour that included performances across Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK, the band are buzzing from the warm reception they receive tonight. Returning this warmth with interest, and modest smiles and words in between songs, Josh comes across as truly genuine; an artist on a rapid journey to the top and loving every minute of it.

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