Aldous Harding


I arrive at the sold out Gorilla venue awaiting Aldous Harding to take to the stage. It’s so hot, and the extremely large fans are churning out mildly cold air, whilst making noises as loud as the current Manchester road works. I think about Aldous’ music style and how these fans might interfere with the ambience.

I note the time, 9.00pm on the dot, and the band members appear. The promptest gig I have ever been to. Hannah Harding (AKA Aldous Harding) appears, and we all cheer. The fans switch off and the crowd’s cheers descends into silence.

Aldous kicks off the gig, and everyone is swaying in awe of her. As the song finishes, the cheer happens again and the wave of quietness is upon us once more, whilst we wait for Aldous to tune her guitar.

Everyone is so eagerly waiting, and she goes into the next one, after a good couple of minutes of making sure her guitar is tuned. Everyone is very patient, and I must say it is worth it.

When the second song is over, the silence returns. Aldous reveals that she is not a fan of doing two things at once, she compares it to having a cup of coffee. “When I have a coffee, that’s what I want to do, just have the coffee”. I love that analogy, especially in the current climate of fast paced work life. She says this as she is concentrating on tuning so much, and adds in that she’s not “super chatty”.

When the soft melody of song ‘The Barrel’ starts I’m so excited. This is one of the songs that drew me to the uniqueness of Aldous Harding. It’s such a beautiful song, and it’s another string to the diverse bow of her voice. One thing I have heard throughout this evening is that her voice adapts to each song she wants to sing, and she can sing on completely different notes and sound different on each part. The backing singers harmonise so well, and it’s a ‘hairs standing on the back of your neck’ moment.

She makes a point of saying that she could play her songs that are popular, or just play what she wants. It’s now that I think she may not play ‘Imagining My Man’, as it is one of her more popular tunes. Her voice is my favourite in this song, so I hope for an encore and a listen.

The gig ends and the lights come on with everyone cheering. “This can’t be it,” I think, and keep clapping. My husband is about to make me leave when they reappear on stage and the lights go low again. She plays ‘Blend’ which everyone loves. It’s a perfect end (no pun intended if you know the lyrics).

Although I was disappointed that she didn’t play the ‘Imagining My Man’ track, I totally see why she didn’t. She didn’t want to, and this makes me like her even more. Aldous Harding is definitely unique, and it is refreshing to see such an alternative style performance.

Aldous Harding: Official | Facebook | Twitter

Parisa Esalat

I'm a northern bird that appreciates all the lovely sounds this city has to offer. What I love about gigs, is that not only the music but the venue and atmosphere can create such a vibe that it takes you somewhere else.