With the beginning of the Giro D’Italia this week, Belfast City is full of colour and life and when singer-songwriter Mike Rosenberg, commonly known as Passenger, set up stage in Belfast’s Victoria Square this afternoon, the City relished this opportunity.
Mike has been travelling around the U.K and Ireland since May 3rd delivering busking sessions to incredibly eager crowds who know him best for his street performances, as this is after all how he began his career as a musician. I was lucky enough to grab myself a front row seat to this free gig and it was truly something special. Mike opened with one of his first ever tracks, ‘Feather On the Clyde’ taken from his album ‘All the Little Lights’ which ranked number two in the Irish Albums Chart. Mike being his usual friendly self, encouraged the crowd to move closer to him and this brought about a more intimate and relaxed atmosphere, even though we were surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
Mike is set to release his new album ‘Whispers‘ on June 10th and he played several new songs from this including ‘Scare Away the Dark’ and ‘Whispers’. He even performed a brand new track that he wrote just a few days ago called ‘Chasing Setting Suns’ which was definitely my personal favourite as it is littered with beautiful descriptions and Mike, staying true to his own style speaks honestly about his life and where he has been.
I have been a fan of Passenger for around two years now and what I have noticed about Mike is that he is extremely down to earth and his sarcasm and modest remarks topped off this impressive street gig. As expected he played his Brit-nominated track, ‘Let Her Go’, which had the entire crowd singing at the top of their lungs. During his final song ‘Holes’ his foot stomping and chest thumping movements reflected his burning passion and genuine love of music and he truly made his mark on the people of Belfast City. I can honestly say it was an experience that I will never forget. Mike is due to return to Belfast to play Waterfront Hall on November 23rd as part of the ‘Whispers’ tour, make sure to pick up a ticket. Top photo and review by Sarah Bell accompanying photo by Tremaine Gregg, GiggingNI.com