Neil Watts 05/12/2009
If Sam Isaac's final live outing in the UK were a form of punctuation it would be have been an ellipsis, rather than the full-stop that it could so easily have been. What is to come after that ellipsis is still unclear, but it is clear there are other chapters waiting to be written and acted out.
It was also a case of completing the Sam Isaac circle, as Sam's first ever solo gig was performed in his adopted home city. The intimate surroundings of The Firefly ensured that the busy throng had to huddle to be within touching distance of Sam and his band. This was all the more poignant when he opened with an acapella version of These Last Few Months to a silent room until the band rose in rich, layered unison.
The set had an air of a best-of collection, dipping into the extensive back catalogue as well as drawing from the Dan Swift produced album Bears. There's a definite sense that there could have been more to come from Sam, especially with his band in tow. They help to flesh out the acoustic framework of the songs and create an impressively luxurious indie-pop tapestry. Despite the circumstances Fire, Fire, Carbon Dating and Come Back Home Tonight remain upbeat crowd pleasers, showing Sam's eye for the popular while retaining his own stamp of authenticity.
Having witnessed a 12-person freak-out at the end of set-closer Carousel For Three, it was fitting that Sam chose to round off his UK career in much in the way that he started it over three years ago. The encore was a back-to-basics solo acoustic rendition of another oldie, Jack.
Sam's album is now set for release in America and Australia in the new year through Low Transit Industries. He even joked that he may have to rethink retiring the 'Sam Isaac' moniker if those ventures are a success. Whatever the outcome, it is very likely that other songwriting projects will follow in the future.