1 October 2015
Bristol’s Thekla is glittering as Wiltshire singer-songwriter Gabrielle Aplin plays a sold-out show.
The night begins with Dublin-born Sample Answer taking the crowd through material from his debut EP Good Boy. With the vibe of a poetry slam jazzed up with reverb and guitar loops, the up-and-coming singer is great at warming up the expectant crowd.
After a short break, Aplin emerges to a thunderous applause. Dressed in a sparkly gold top with glitter around her eyes, the singer starts her set with ‘Light Up The Dark’, the moody first single from her second album of the same name. This is followed by other album tracks ‘What Did You Do?’ and ‘Fools Love’. Old favourite ‘Panic Cord’ is the first song that got the crowd singing along to every word, matched only by ‘Please Don’t Say You Love Me’. As she continues with her varied set, emotive songs ‘Shallow Love’, ‘Hurt’ and the raw ‘How Do You Feel Today?’ are interspersed with more upbeat pop-inspired tracks including her latest single ‘Sweet Nothing’.
‘Heavy Heart’, Aplin’s personal favourite off of her new album, demonstrates a different style for the singer. Bluesy and dark, it shows off her impressive vocals and range, but the highlight of the night is when she sits down behind her keyboard. The intimacy of the novel venue was perfect for her haunting vocals during ‘A While’ and ‘Salvation’. Not many artists can cause an audience to fall silent in awe, but that’s exactly what she does.
She ends her set with her rock-inspired track ‘Slip Away’, before slipping off stage, leaving her talented band to perform a brief outro. As the lights fade, chants of “Gabby” began to fill the room and she returned only with Harry Hudson-Taylor at the keyboard for an encore of ‘The House We Never Built’, a heartfelt song about misplaced love before finishing the night with ‘Home’, another crowd favourite that gets everyone singing along.
With her poetic lyrics, Gabrielle Aplin is an artist who makes you feel the emotions with her, a talent that makes her an excellent live performer who is just as good, if not better, live than on her albums. Her mixed set contains something for everyone, whether you prefer her acoustic, piano-driven or new more upbeat songs; she masters them all. Memories of the show were good enough to pass away the two hour journey back to Exeter on a train filled with rugby fans.