I first became aware of Rationale when I was doing some research into artists that were playing at August’s Victorious Festival. He was always on my must-watch list but despite the best intentions I got sidetracked and ended up elsewhere. There was no chance that I was going to pass up a second opportunity to see him at The Wedgewood Rooms.
Support on the night came from local singer-songwriter Richard Morris. I have been aware of Richard for a long time but this was the first occasion that I have seen him play live. The previous night he’d played a show with a full band but this was a stripped back set with just Richard and his guitar. Richard was playing tracks from his most recent EP which is titled Stay Alive. Early on I was aware that pockets of the crowd were still having conversations of their own but as he began to build a rapport with the crowd they turned their full attention to his performance. By the time it came to his last track the crowd were tapping their feet and nodding their head to tracks like ‘Wasted On Her‘ and the EP’s title track ‘Stay Alive.’
Rationale originally released music under his first name Tinashé but after moderate success, he relaunched his career as Rationale in 2015. Tracks like ‘Fast Lane’ and ‘Something for Nothing’ on Soundcloud and Spotify helped him gain recognition of Pharrell Williams who promoted him via his Apple Music Beats1 radio show. After supporting the likes of Bastille, he is building quite a following himself.
Early on in the set, we were treated to a mixture of slower soulful tracks such as ‘Tethered‘ and ‘Deliverance,’ to upbeat tracks like ‘Fast Lane‘ which got the crowd singing and swaying along. Tinashé described himself as a very pessimistic character in an interview with the Evening Standard, he certainly doesn’t off that kind of impression on stage. He spent most of the performance with a huge smile on his face and on more than one occasion he went to address the crowd in between songs but was caused to pause while the crowd finished their cheering and applause.
On more than one occasion he went to address the crowd in between songs but was caused to pause for a moment as the crowd hadn’t quite finished their applause.
It is always a pleasure when you see an artist or a group perform live that is having just as much fun as the crowd. Tinashé’s charismatic and soulful voice is most apparent in what I consider to be Rationale’s strongest track ‘Loving Life,’ which was performed as the encore. He and the crowd were dancing around with arms in the air and beer flying around like something from a metal gig.