Gabrielle Aplin, Southern - An Droichead, Belfast
Gabrielle Aplin, Southern
An Droichead, Belfast
31st March 2012
Playing in the somewhat unorthodox arena of An Droichead, we are here to see youtube sensation Gabrielle play an intimate session to a sold out crowd.
First up though we have Southern, with his band mate sister busy with her studies Thom plays an assured solo set that highlights not only his songwriting ability but also his confidence playing in front of an eager audience armed with only his guitar. Thom’s voice is unbelievably like Luke Pritchard of The Kooks, eerily similar at times. Songs are filled with snappy lyrics, bluesy folk tinged hooks and melodies that leaves the audience wanting more. Southern will be embarking on tour in May and on the basis of this performance, more and more success and notoriety beckons.
After Thom departs the stage it is only a short break until Gabrielle graces us with her presence. She admits she is a little tired from last nights excursions but in no way does it affect her performance as she starts into ‘Panic Cord’. Her voice has a great pitchy effect to it, the rawness of the vocals are what make listening to her such a joy. Clear and harmonious Gabrielle draws obvious parallels with fellow internet sensations, Birdy and Sunday Girl. Gabrielle may have been thrust into the spotlight as a result of the covers she posted online, but the uniqueness of her voice and the strength of her own songs means she will not be shoehorned into the undesirable group of artists that only rely on other artists material.
Gabrielle pays respects to her beginnings with a cover of fellow internet sensation Lana Del Rey’s ‘Video Games’. It does not deviate too much from the original but she carries it well and alters just enough to make it more than worthy of the original.
There is a lovely rapport with the crowd throughout as Gabrielle regularly engages with the audience, chatting away in between songs. It adds to the atmosphere of an already relaxed evening and by the end her final track, ‘Home’ the audience is in rapturous applause.
Whether its at the piano or with the guitar, Gabrielle is extremely proficient and it is a real pleasure to hear folk so raw and unadulterated. A real star to keep an eye out for. All in all a great performance and the only downside of the evening is that the set was a little on the short side. A minor gripe to a hugely successful evening.
Words: David Smith
Photo: Deci Gallen