Live Review: Sophie Madeleine

5 Oct

Pavilion Theatre: Tuesday, October 4 2011

The Indian summer might have scarpered but don’t despair, Brighton’s Sophie Madeleine will bring some sunshine into your life.

It’s impossible not to bask in the glow of her chirpy, hum-along sweet melodies or revel in the unfaltering  DIY ethos that saw her self-record her two albums because she couldn’t find a label to stump up some cash.

It’s tempting to say she doesn’t need their help, but her performance tonight makes it hard to fathom why a label didn’t take a punt on her.

Backed with a three-piece band featuring violin, double bass and guitar, opener Stars is a silky, classy number bathed in backing vocals and propped-up by beats and glockenspiel on a loop, while Change The Numbers – with the opening line “turn back the clocks, change the numbers, wind back the watch on your wrist” – cleverly uses a ticking timepiece as its percussive base.

Despite the overwhelming heart-warming buzz gained from her songs, Madeleine tempers the cheeriness with her shy demeanour, hiding behind her hair throughout the performance.

Nevertheless, no amount of reserve can dilute the bouncy Oil And Gold, which is surely destined to soundtrack a balmy, late afternoon festival set with its breezy rhythm, lolloping tune and ba-dop backing vocals.

Her band leave the stage while she performs Hypothetically Yours – her voice growing in stature as it’s paired with an intricate ukulele melody – before returning for the finale The Rhythm You Started, which is a joyous jaunt powered by sweeping, three-way vocals and dreamy orchestration.

Madeleine’s live show is sublime and, despite the attitudes of many record labels, the least we can do is make sure it doesn’t go unnoticed in her home town.


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