17 August 2016
A review of the pianist's concert at St-Giles-in-the-Fields, London
Okiem: Live in London
Lauren Beharrell reviews his 4 August concert at St-Giles-in-the-Fields, London
Okiem and his orchestra performed to a full house in central London at the iconic St Giles in the Fields Church. Okiem’s showcase event, backed by Casio and Pianist, was well attended – from top class booking agents and publishers to record labels and his ever-growing fan base.
Natalie Gauci, winner of Australian Idol 2007, warmed up the audience with her incredible
vocals and piano playing, and her endearing charm won over the audience straight away.
Okiem then took to the stage, greeted by thunderous applause, and joined his orchestra – a hand-picked ensemble made up of immensely talented individuals. The ensemble’s instruments included violin, viola, cello, flute, trombone, double bass and vocalist. Okiem himself played a synthesizer and the brand new Casio Grand Hybrid made in association with Bechstein.
Okiem’s presence stunned the church into silence and anticipation awaited for his first song
from his 15-track debut album XIRO. ‘Purple Sky’ began and I was instantly captivated by
Okiem’s music, the depth, the cinematic feel to the sound and the emotion behind the
performance. It was hard to believe I was sitting in the heart of central London; I felt like I had been transported to a beautiful place and thoroughly enjoyed the whole ambience of the evening.
You never knew what was coming next, from high-energy dramatic songs such as ‘Fifty Horses’ and the title track ‘Xiro’, through to the more peaceful tranquil compositions. After a medley of some popular songs, blindfolds were handed out to the audience, which enabled us to simply sit and listen, fully immersed in the music and in total peace.
Okiem then performed his piece ‘Mercy’. It was a magical moment in time, and I noticed that some audience members were moved to tears. When the show was over, there was a call for an encore, so Okiem performed one more of his songs for the eager audience. This finale was met with a standing ovation from everyone inside the church. A fitting end to a fantastic performance.
Listen to music from Okiem’s debut album XIRO at www.okiemofficial.com to download