A triple bill of win courtesy of The Local: Laura Gibson, The Leisure Society and Alela Diane. I was super exhausted, but not too exhausted to miss this wonderful lineup. We sat upstairs, and I didn’t shoot. I didn’t even have my camera with me. It was actually really lovely. Especially because it’s such a hassle to shoot at the Empire, they take your camera for you after every set. So we sat back and listened. Besides being so fussy about cameras, Shepherd’s Bush Empire is actually pretty lovely. I enjoy sitting up at the balcony, you get a good view.
First on was Laura Gibson. She has such a beautiful voice and sweet songs. The sound was perfect. There’s so much weight in every word she sings, and something so completely charming about the simplicity of her setup. It’s just her and a guitar and yet her songs are so enveloping. Funeral Song is my favourite. It kills me the way she sings ‘I would not wish to be the fire in your belly’. Her voice rises up and it kills me. I can’t wait until I next get to hear her play again. Leisure Society followed next. I always feel happy watching them play. The new song they play is pretty rockin’. Love’s Enormous Wings is always my favourite because it’s such a wonderfully sweet song.
Alela Diane. She is something incredible. How can she so effortlessly project such a magnificent sound from her throat? So beautiful. She played with her dad, her friend Alina singing harmonies, a drummer and a comedy bassist with a good hat. They played alot of songs from To Be Still, but first opening with Bowling Green from her forthcoming EP with Alina.The EP was recorded in just two days, quite an epic feat. It will be released on vinyl. The sound was good and all the songs were warmly received by the crowd. They closed with Rake, a Townes Van Zandt cover, also from the forthcoming EP, before returning for an encore of Lady Devine, the last track from To Be Still. It was a wonderful set and I would most certainly recommend catching Alela and her band play live.