Monday 2 November 2015

Live Review: Låpsley @ Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff 29/10/2015

Being 6" 2 I probably have less right than most to complain with the crowds as gigs, then again it definitely doesn't stop me. If it's not me getting a taste of my own medicine with another tall one stood in front (payback), it's the constant talking amongst friends as they laugh and joke above the very same band they've just paid good money to see. This was a very different affair - even going as far to say one of the nicest crowds I've ever seen at a show in Cardiff. A far cry at least from the piss poor disrespectful audience when Daughter played here a few years previous. Performing whilst being able to hear a pin drop throughout might seem like a discerning task to most but Holly Lapsley Fletcher takes it in her stride. An even bigger feat to consider when you come to realise she's been touring for less than a year.

Having quickly become one of the UK's hottest-tipped artists, in such a short space of time Lapsley has gone on to sign a deal with refined label XL Recordings, make the BBC Sound of 2015 Poll longlist not to mention sell out shows across the globe, all at such a humbling young age. It's clear to hear in her show-stopping abilities though just why everyone's so excited by her ethereal emotively led songwriting.

Her kind of music is simple. It's sparse. There's just three of them on stage for one. Not even a full drum kit - but it doesn't mean it's any less powerful though. What the trio manage to create is a mesmerising blend of bitter-sweet sentiment - one with a profound sting in its tale. Playing through a vast range of her current material the crowd hang on to each and every vocal cry with the utmost of attention. Pitch perfect throughout as her vulnerability is laid bare, the haunting atmospherics play their desired part in creating that moody self-reflecting image her music so achingly brings to life. Through Brownlow's spacious synth-pad textures and skittering percussion to the piano led melodies on Falling Short, Lapsley's endearing tactile performing abilities really are second to none. Creating dreamlike worlds in her compositions, the dazzling stage-light effects only emphasise this captivating the emotions in their flickering before momentarily dropping in to darkness once more. With a second mic brought on for her to take full control of Station's pitched down vocals, its unnerving ambiance only became even more intensified in a live setting as the smokey stage presence crept in to the crowd.

Finishing with her latest single Hurt Me, a track filled with an insatiable blend of sky high vocals and sharp witted lyricism, Låpsley's minimalistic approach to recording proves not all is what it seems, especially in an expansive live setting. With the softly palatable sounds replaced for soaring heart-rending qualities, her stunning emotive prowess delivers on everything it's worth as synths swirl and its percussion crashed down in an animated grandeur way. I think it's safe to say this summed up the evening's performance on a whole. I guess the question now is, how long will we be awaiting that much anticipated debut LP.


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