Live Review: Laura Gibson

19 Apr

Komedia: Friday, April 13 2012

In an indication that sometimes fortune favours the brave, Laura Gibson’s third album Le Grande has received more attention and praise despite being less instantly accessible than its two predecessors.

While there’s no radical departure from her tried and tested, hushed Americana, there is enough musical invention and vocal interplay to ensure there’s a good turn out for her first Brighton show in a couple of years.

There’s no sign that the additional attention has increased the pressure, though, as Gibson and her three-piece band effortlessly charmed with an hour-long set of impeccably crafted folk songs and her sublime, and at times haunting, voice.

In a sign of true class, it almost seemed to be too easy at times; there were tricky three-part harmonies that were made to sound as simple as nursery rhymes, and intricate guitar and galloping drums that looked such a doddle it probably convinced half of those here that they could play them too. They couldn’t.

Best of all, however, was the fact that the music – no matter how technically clever and accomplished – accumulated into a gloriously hazy sound akin to listening to it on a much-loved, and therefore slightly battered, LP.

The set ended with Gibson conducting the audience as it enthusiastically provided layers of backing vocals. To be fair, after a spine-tingling performance like this, Gibson could have got away with demanding just about anything…her guitarist’s efforts to get someone to breakdance, however, might have been pushing it a bit. Only a little bit, mind.

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