It is certainly a much sought-after talent for a musician to calm a roomful of people after a couple of drinks, and it is a testament to Leo Stannard’s musicianship that he manages to achieve this feat. His voice is undoubtedly unassuming when contrasted with his appearance: a Charlie Puth look and vibe is thrown off by a deep and slightly hoarse voice similar to that of Ben Howard, whom Stannard seems to draw inspiration from. Couple this with his Jon Gomm-esque percussive and pinch harmonic littered guitar style, and Leo Stannard is clearly placed above the rest of his acoustic pop peers.
Stannard starts the night off nicely with a relaxing chord based song, which helps to set the mood for the rest of the night, and turns the crowd from chatty to silent as soon as he stars playing. In his next song, “Lost”, Stannard’s true talent for guitar shines through as he brings along that Jon Gomm style and slow balletic quality of modern pop songs which he beautifully meshes them together to make a great and technical song that has almost all of the audience moving along to the soft beat. Throughout the night Stannard switches between his guitar and keyboard showing his prowess in both instruments. He plays some of his songs like “I need time”, a nice jazz-pop combination which has all of the crowd moving their feet, as well as more of his signature acoustic-pop, a collaboration song between him and label mate Kidnap Kid. Towards the end of the gig he shows how his nine years of classic guitar training has paid off by giving a fast yet somehow soft technical instrumental utilising the numerous guitar concepts he has at his disposal. This certainly generates a sense of awe from the crowd and even an exclamation of “God blimey he’s good” shouted from the back. Stannard finishes off the night, after a loud chant of “Encore” from the audience, by leading the crowd in singing and clapping along to “In my blood”, and after a night of good music and banter between the audience and Stannard, they are more than happy to sing along till the end.
Article by: Ross Laidlaw