Monday, 25 April 2016

Basia Bulat, Leeds Headrow House – April 16th 2016 (LIVE REVIEW)


"...Whether old or new, what is in no doubt is that all Bulat’s songs are beautifully written as well as nailed to within an inch of their lives on stage tonight..."

‘Even though I’m wearing a cape, I still do folk songs’, Canadian Basia Bulat informing a surprisingly small Headrow House throng, referring to the very shiny piece of apparel drooped over her slender shoulders…..and what a fine and dandy piece of clothing it looks to be. Admitting herself after the show that she’s not been to the UK as often as she would have liked, her practically unknown status outside her native homeland will surely be under threat thanks to the deadly combination of her fine new album, cracking live performances, ably assisted by her assured backing band, and the aforementioned memorable attire, also featuring on the cover artwork of new album ‘Good Advice’.

Supported by the understated yet stylish Americana of The Weather Station, lead vocalist and similarly gifted musician Tamara Lindeman doubles up as Basia’s backing vocalist, meaning the harmonies are heavenly from the off. Basia’s set consists of three segments; firstly we get half a dozen songs of mainly new album material including the Gallic tinged indie-pop nugget ‘Let Me In’ and the Eurovision two-step of ‘Lie La Lie’, Bulat getting all manner of cheesy retro sounds from her chocolate-coloured electric piano.

Our heroine then switches to guitar for the heartfelt ‘Five, Four’ before her backing band depart leaving just Basia, her exquisite voice, her autoharp and the hushed crowd for some earlier material. Whether old or new, what is in no doubt is that all Bulat’s songs are beautifully written as well as nailed to within an inch of their lives on stage tonight. ‘Paris or Amsterdam’ ‘Gold Rush’ and the first song she ever wrote ‘Fortunate Son’, ramp up the intimacy factor, the sound of pins dropping hypothetically audible.

Re-joined by band mates once more, the final quartet of numbers, bring the show to a barnstorming climax, Basia even dancing with a couple of members of the audience during the fine ‘Tall Tall Shadow’ as three more new album tracks ‘Good Advice’ the ethereal ‘Someday Soon’ and ‘Infamous’ bring us to a close, the singer clearly seeking to emphasise the new poppy plugged-in direction of her latest album.

Another splendid find.

Words - Mike Price

Basia Balut Official
Headrow House Official