Great way to Passenger the time from Simon Peel, 18/08/11
Having had notable success in Australia a friend of mine in Sydney sent me one of the best forward emails I've had. A free gig to see Passenger in Winchester. I did some internet searching and managed to listen to some of his music and was convinced enough to take my girlfriend (also from Australia) who was visiting that week.
Walking down the old main street towards Neros, I spotted Mike Rosenberg straight away. He has the singer/songwriter look down to a tee. Slightly scruffy, hair and facial hair galore and looking like he'd had a bit too much of whatever it was that was making him clutch his cigarette so tightly. He had the gait of an artist who is desperately on the edge of fame just waiting for the free fall into stardom. Having bought our chai late and fruit shake (it's ok, we were in Winchester) we sat down in anticipation as Mike set-up. Even though I had heard Mikes stuff before during my research, I was still surprised at how lovely his voice was, beautifully harmonising with his lone guitar and sailing over the coffee machine and faint hub-bub of the queuing customers.
His honest, witty and intelligent lyrics delighted the expectant and unexpectant audience (those who were just there for a coffee and not quite sure what they had stumpled upon). After a good length set, which ended with a lovely rendition of Sound Of Silence, we applauded heartily and sat back satisfied with our discovery of Passenger. I panicked and bought all 3 albums that were for sale. My only disappointment was the exclusion of Shape Of Love, not only for being my favourite song, but also for the lyric "I dont want to leave this coffee shop" which seemed too good an opportunity to miss given the location. Small loss though really. It was a cute, quaint, little gig in a cute, quaint, little city. My other apprehension is that it is only a matter of time before Mike gets discovered properly and walks the dangerous line of either bowing to the record company and the masses or sticking to the genius that made him get to that stage in the first place. Stay true Mike!