Julian Velard, Vagabond

Alisha Ahmed 18/11/2008

I remember one epic line from the classic 80s movie "Great Balls of Fire" about the life of Jerry Lee Lewis. Apparently, before getting a record deal, Jerry Lee was turned down by record labels telling him he would never succeed, because he would not been able to connect with the crowd from behind a piano.

Fast-forward to the present day and this time is Julian Velard to destroy this false belief. Julian comes from Brooklyn, is from french-Canadian heritage from his father's side and, lucky for the londoner girls like me, he can be seen around Islington where he currently lives. His instrument of choice is indeed the piano but, after seeing him performing live at the Soho Revue Bar, I can tell you he has nothing to envy to guitarists, and could actually teach a few lead singer how to properly handle and entertain a crowd.

There is one thing that impresses me all the time I come across it, it's enough to turn me into a die-hard supporter for the act that can have a crowd eating out of the palm of his hand, and that's what Julian achieved during his performance: he came onto the stage as a stranger to most people, and he most likely knew that. But that didn't prevent him to actually get the crowd's attention with with witty between song talking and incredible charm, and by the end of the show he actually won them all over. Looking at the girls waiting for him at the end of the show I am quite sure he's already at the "groupie-stage" of fame.

No wonder record company(es), got him to move from New York all the way to London: that must be because, by Euro standards, Julian is just the perfect fit for a solo commercial success: he's got catchy tunes, good looks and outstanding charms.

Think the sound of Robin Thicke, with a hint of Michael Buble' and just a sprinkle of Mark Ronson, add a character these three mentioned performers cannot achieve even if they were put together, and there you have this charming man. He entertains the crowd making it "his" crowd and he succeeds in this as if he has done nothing but being on stage in the last 29 years. The only way you have to tell the difference is in his eyes: you can see even from the back of the room how they still sparkle with an excitement and burning passion for what he does.