The Bodega, Nottingham
12th November 2021
Amy Britton checks out the penultimate date of Alice Robbins headline tour, a stirringly beautiful affair.
There’s something in the atmosphere that just feels perfect for the penultimate night of Alice Robbins headline tour. Perhaps its the homecoming warmth for the Nottingham artist, or the light, warm rain giving the smattering of melancholy on the queue to get in, but the scene feels perfectly set for this night. Its a significant date in her calendar, with this day of the tour coinciding with the release of the second EP Wilted, (the follow up to 2019’s acclaimed Lavender Honey) a stunningly well-crafted selection of songs full of pathos and impressive musicianship from her whole band and production team.
The evening is kicked off with newcomers Vona Vella, whose smooth, tight sound sounds deceptively experienced. These are followed by the brilliant Catmilk, who are now newly expanded into a four-piece, further fleshing out their honest, well-honed slices of Anglicised Americana.
With a high precedent set, it does not take long for us to be reassured that Robbins will absolutely live up to expectations now. The minute she opens her mouth, her voice haunts the room, like a luxurious swathe of velvet brushing the nape of a sensitive neck. Like so many of the best vocalists, she makes it look so easy. There is undeniable power there, but nothing ever forced and the songwriting never bent out of shape for the sake of a showcase. The same goes for her technical, fingerpicking style of guitar playing putting prodigal acoustic traditions into the electric, but never feeling the need to be demonstratively showy. More well-established songs on the setlist sound the best they ever have – the driven and melodic Lately, in particular, has the feel of an indie classic. The new material stands up instantly – the likes of 3 Days and Wholesome sounding impressively ethereal, while Disgrace sees her going down a more full-powered road. A surprise cover of Dusty Springfield’s classic Spooky thrown into the set seems to amplify the chemistry between Robbins and her band. In short, its an impressive set.
Angelic (both in her vocal style and stage presence) without ever being saccharine, melancholy without lost hope, Alice Robbins shines brightly and boldly like a heavenly constellation. She’s certainly one tonight has proved its worth keeping your eyes to the sky for.
All words by Amy Britton. Find more on her archive https://louderthanwar.com/author/amy-britton/
Photo by Jade Vowles (Follow on Instagram here)
Special thanks to DHP and Jade K Media