“We love you Birdy,” shouted one gig goer…if that was the gig they were after then they would still have been pleasantly surprised at what was going on tonight. The evening started quite mellow with new artist Little Red entertaining a lot of early attendees with delights such as new single Hell and even a Kate Bush cover of Cloudbusting. Little Red definitely knew how to draw in the crowd by songs alone, and by the time her set had finished, there were many people nearer the front than at the bar.
Sarah Howells, aka Bryde, is becoming the hot ticket in music. I overheard that many of the audience were there because of her previous guise in Paper Aeroplanes. It wasn’t until I heard of Bryde that I actually heard of her other work, but I have become hooked ever since. Whatever reasons for the crowd being at Camden Assembly, they had made it down and sold the show out, so much so that by Bryde’s stage time there was no room to move!
Her first few numbers were quite minimalist, before leading to more rockier numbers such as Honey and Transparent. We really got a nice mix that didn’t make us settle, but feel more engaged with Bryde as a performer. With the moodier and harder stuff came great lighting – a nice deep red then blue and flashing lights, almost mimicking her aura as she performed the likes of To Be Loved.
It was her latest release, Less, that really saw Bryde work the stage and turn the small room in Camden into a rock arena such as Wembley. It was a blinding finish that had the audience wanting more. No one moved…thankfully Bryde obliged and returned on her own with an acoustic guitar, wandering into the middle of the room to give us the most beautiful encore with Back To Believing.
One again, Sarah Howells proved that Bryde live is more or less the perfect live show!
Words & Image by Victoria Ling