First up was Wartime Sweethearts.
The performance was started with vocal experimentation and some minor crowd participation; everyone to the artist’s left was asked to hum in one key, and everyone to her right in another key. It was a nice way to warm the audience to the show.
A few songs in and a drummer came on to add more shape to the songs. The percussion was mostly kept quiet and tastefully served to compliment the melodies. There were times when it increased in volume and intensity; these were kept to match any swelling volume and power of the melodies.
The vocals were excellent. A lot of passion and energy came through and they sounded effortless as well as powerful.
For the last two songs three backup vocalists came to the stage. They added a lot of depth and richness to the songs they sung on, helping to end a strong set on a strong note.
Despite a few issues with some noise at the start, the set flowed without a hitch. There was subtlety and at times restraint, and overall it worked well.
Lack The Low was soon after. Being there in order to conduct what is known as an album launch, she took all the physical copies of the album One Eye Closed, attached it to a rocket that she had developed over many a year and thus it went careening into the vastness of space.
Lack The Low were launching their debut album One Eye Closed, thus playing it from beginning to end. There was restraint and release, and plenty of subtlety along with more overt moments that carried the songs and the audience along a nice, enjoyable set.
However, these were songs that were begging to be played with a larger ensemble.
Obviously I can’t speak for the intentions of Lack The Low, but I can only hope that if this does lead to a larger tour, that it is with a group that can really bring forth the dynamic, textured nature of her music.
However, that’s not to say that these songs lacked dynamics with only two people performing them. Both knew how to get the most out of what they were doing. Layers built upon each other leading to lush, growing sounds that moved and flowed and it sounded as though there was a real cohesion and flow. The songs remained sounding full and really grabbed your attention.
The vocals held a lot of passion and power in them, even during quieter moments. Throughout there was a kind of richness to them that worked really well in a textural and melodic sense. This is someone who has good command of their voice and knows how to use it to best effect.
Not every song utilised percussion, but when it was used it was used very effectively. There was a balance between more atmospheric and direct playing. Regardless of how it was utilised in any section, the percussion was consistent in execution, sound and feel.
Both Wartime Sweethearts and Lack The Low put on a good performance. It was a small, quieter gig delivered the right amount of energy and felt as though all of the performers put a lot of themselves into the show. If either of them are playing soon, I can only recommend that you check them out.