THE days of being a teen pop idol from a bubbly boy band are long behind Harry Styles.
His self-titled debut solo album, which dropped on Friday, threw the music world into a spin when it comes to the British musician’s potential to be a future rock star.
To promote his new soft-rock sound, the 23-year-old former One Direction heart-throb played his first-ever solo gig for an exclusive club of fans in North London on Saturday night.
He announced via Twitter he would play a pop up show at The Garage, a music venue in Highbury, with tickets selling out immediately.
Styles, fitted in a pink satin suit, embodied a true rock and roll prince in an intimate 1.5 hour show, singing the many heartbreak-drenched ’70s tunes from his new album, including the chart climbing hit Sign Of the Times.
He avoided the club bouncing beats that boy band alumni generally gravitate towards when they go solo, but kept the crowd dancing with upbeat raunch-rock songs including Woman and Ever Since New York, with which he kicked off the show.
“Hello London, I’m Harry, nice to meet you,” he said nonchalantly to a crowd of screaming fans.
“This is my first show. I won’t forget this. Thank you so much for coming.”
Sticking to his roots, he kept 1D fanatics happy by performing the band’s 2014 hit Stockholm Syndrome, which Styles wrote.
His most vulnerable moment throughout the evening was singing the lovelorn ballad From the Dining Table, which Styles said was his “favourite song on this album by far” with confronting lyrics such as “woke up alone in this hotel room, played with myself, where were you?”
Showing his versatility, the singer wowed the crowd covering Kanye West in a smooth rendition of the rapper’s hit Ultralight Beam.
Something charming about Styles is his genuine love of engaging with the crowd, having regular back and forth conversations with fans in between songs.
He sang Happy Birthdayto 19-year-old London reveller Eileen before breaking into Come On Eileen as he happily danced across the stage.
Styles finished off with his six minute epic Sign Of the Times, which is currently number 3 on the Australian iTunes chart.
The show didn’t need frills, fancy stage sets or video editing. Just a man and his soulful voice.
It was a sign of good times for what Styles has to offer as a solo artist.
Styles will tour Australia, playing sold out shows in Sydney and Melbourne, at the end of the year.
Originally published as Inside Harry Styles’ secret London gig