Laura Stevenson

Laura Stevenson


Tonight, it feels like we’re sat in a conservatory, beams run threateningly over our heads, and as Laura Stevenson sits at her stool plucking her first string, it feels like an invasion of privacy. She wears a tame blue polka dot dress and it feels like we are intruding on a private family celebration where Laura, yet again, has been asked to pull out her party trick.

With each song, Laura pours out more grief and her face blushes red, either with a fervour or anguish or even embarrassment at revealing such private truths. Fans, who feel their words are voiced through her, mouth every word and in a venue so small their voices can be heard, and fans and singer alike seem to be spurring each other on.

In this place, any other word than a song lyric would draw a disapproving look and unlike those who stand, arched back, finger on lips, handing any interpretation they possibly can to some pointless artwork, this has real emotional worth.

Without her usual band ‘The Cans’, Laura performs alone tonight, launching into first song ‘The Healthy One.’ This song is about the only healthy member of an otherwise completely ill family, it seems slightly malicious and when she wails “You will bury them all in the ground”, I want to cringe at its biting honesty.

Relief follows as the more fragile ‘The Move’ comes next, the song tinkles with beauty and serves as an apt reminder of the quality of the songs on her latest album ‘The Wheel’. This fragility is overcome by a certain vociferousness as plucks and distant microphone hues turn into aggressive strums and nightmarish wails, as ‘The Hole’ and ‘Runner’ follow in tandem.

The songs are similar, yet somehow it remains completely engrossing and my attention is never weakened. However, tonight hits a new height with ‘L-Dopa’, it makes such an affect that cold sweat stands on my back; the song amazes me on at least six separate occasions, with changes in speed, vocals and the emotive words rolling off her tongue.

The song is about her grandfather, who learned to play piano on a model with no keys and when finally he was recognised enough to play live, his Mother died and never got to see him play. Just as his Mother would have felt blessed to have seen him play, we should feel blessed to see this performance here tonight, it acts as a poignant reminder of the power which can be transmitted by just vocals, guitar and raw emotion in a world continuously corrupted by so-called digital advancements.

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Paddy Kinsella

Hi all, my name is Paddy and I have a love for everything from African music to indie to house (basically anything other than heavy metal). Gigging and listening to albums are genuinely the things I most value and love doing.