HERE at Outernet, London
Bounding onstage like an excited puppy, the Space Man singer is hungry for feelgood audience interaction and he leads with a genuinely astonishing voice
Sam Ryder stands in the middle of the crowd, singing directly to a fan. Just moments earlier, he had asked the audience if anyone was feeling “up against it” and, spotting one woman who clearly was, he jumped off the stage and dedicated his latest single All the Way Over to her. “If anyone else is struggling,” he says as people bring up the lights on their phones, “feel the light, figuratively and literally.”
Coming from anyone else, such affirmations might elicit an eye-roll. But from Ryder, it seems natural. The 33-year-old rocketed to stardom earlier this year when he represented the UK at the Eurovision song contest, where he achieved what some thought impossible – coming second place with his song Space Man and giving the UK its best result in the competition since 1998. The song was a hit at home, too, becoming the highest charting Eurovision entry since Gina G. Selling it all was Ryder’s perpetually wide grin, irresistible enthusiasm and affable charm. This was a man overflowing with good vibes.