Firstly, it’s The Barfly, if you’ve ever been there you know full well it’s The Barfly, let’s move on.
Having waxed lyrical about the excellence of Bryde‘s tunes on a few previous occasions, I finally had the pleasure of seeing her live as she headlined a rather busy Camden Assembly on a Wednesday night which saw my faith in her abilities affirmed as though it were some kind of religious ritual.
But first up we were all treated to a stellar performance from Bath-based newcomer Little Rêd (which obviously I’m copying and pasting every time to make sure I get the little hat right). Opening up with her recent single ‘Hell‘, there was a sense of ease that flowed through the room as she rolled out a series of emotionally-fuelled, utterly charming sounds. While there may be a tad bit of work needed when it comes to stage patter, anyone who can cover Kate Bush in such a phenomenally addictive way as this surely has something rather special about them and is worth keeping an eye on.
But as brilliant as she was it would have taken something on the richter scale to have prevented Bryde from being the absolute star. Combining rocky beats that had movements even from those of us in the cheap seats (i.e. propped up at the bar) with a selection of softer, incredibly soulful tunes the Welsh genius proved that she has more tricks up her sleeve than Dynamo’s stag weekend – assuming he invited exclusively other magicians. The chemistry in the band was evident on every last harmony and, with someone so stupidly talented at the helm of it all, it’s hard to see how anyone could ever think anything of this phenomenal talent other than her being the sheer model of musical perfection. After ending with a belting rendition of ‘Less‘, an encore was called for and very much deserved. That’s when things went to a whole other level with one of the most intimate and enjoyable spectacles I’ve ever seen at a gig.
Equipped with an acoustic guitar and the ace harmonies of her band, Bryde wandered into the centre of the hushed audience to perform one last treat that made what had already been a thoroughly brilliant evening into a night that I’m not quite sure I’ll ever forget. It was truly, truly a sublime experience.