The Finnish-named indie artist Sivu (real name: James Page), hailing from St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, played an intimate gig at Hockley’s Bodega as part of his current UK tour.
Sivu charmed the small crowd with his mix of quietly dark and uplifting music; comfortably building a rapport with the room and repeatedly expressing his surprise and delight at the crowd’s encouraging cheers. Like a child dreading a birthday party with no friends, he tells us he feared he would be playing to a handful of people rather than a roomful.
That’s not to say Sivu hasn’t had plenty of live experience, nor has he only frequented small venues – only a few months ago he supported Bombay Bicycle Club at full-capacity Earls Court. The fact his music can carry through large audiences and send an electrifying buzz throughout the smaller Bodega crowd is testament to the versatility of his music.
His set moves between melancholic, thoughtful tunes like ‘Cold Hands’ – ‘This is about being with someone for a long time that you love, but also hate’, he tells us, before launching into the beautifully sad number – and rockier, energy-building melodies like ‘Miracle (Human Error)’ and ‘Better Man Than He’.
Each song is charged with emotion, captivating lyrics full of sentiment and striking images, and a voice that feels like combination of Thom Yorke and Jack Steadman.
In a casual conclusion to the show, Sivu abandons his instruments and hops from the stage, continuing to thank the crowd as he moves toward his merchandise stall ready to flog his CDs and chat to anyone who’s sticking around. Friendly.
It is easy to imagine that Sivu might have to start planning a proper encore soon and employ someone to trade the CDs on his behalf, but for now Sivu is doing what he knows best: creating an intimate atmosphere for his mix of insightful indie pop.