We have been sponsoring Gigonometry all year long and tonight was an exceptional level of music with Cat Dowling headlining and Silent Interlude opening proceedings. Yet sandwiched in between the two was Grace Wilde. We have to admit to being bowled over by how good this performance was. In the absence of a drummer, the set consisted of just two guitars and a cello. It is not a classical arrangement, nor is it a mariachi band. Instead it is something polished, innovative, and, above all else, all about the music. Everything got moving with the very finely pitched ‘Bring Me To My Knees’. Freed up in the contortion of the vocals is a longing that brings a refined fit to how it all sounds. The barren quality is tastefully beckoned. This in turn brings the appreciation to life by adding a solid sense of conviction that is brought through with a duty of care that competently processes all the elements of the delivery.
Even though we are only two songs in, the stylish lilt of ‘Black And Blue’ is prominent and gives the acoustic guitar a warmer sense of presence. The dainty and sedate manner to how it all flows is factored in smartly. That is picked up on by the retreated calling that the lyrics possess. In turn this frames the demeanour by bringing a confirmed sense of contention to the table in her voice that carefully considers the warmth of the emotive side. You imagine that there is an ability to handle songs with a bigger sense of scope from watching her play here tonight and that is what she delivers with ‘Breathe’. This comfortably clicks into gear by bringing a steady sense of presence as it all comes to pass. The demands of the delivery also don;t feel beyond her either, and this is affirmed furthermore with the concentration of a secondary pick up that concentrates the urgency before falling away in an equally calculated manner.
Off the back of a top drawer version of Peggy Lee’s ‘Fever’ came ‘Flesh And Blood’. Here you see the sophistication in a noted way. The cello brings a sense of validation with a lightness of touch that plays through fancifully. The depth of the lyrics alongside this is rather astute. Overall the commanding sense of wonder is matched by the ambition of the delivery. With that there is also a fine understanding between the overall correlation to everything on show that is kept in sync but also retains a smart level of proficiency on a musical level. To close out came a song inspired by Davoren Hanna’s ‘The Friendship Tree’ called ‘Under Your Skin’. The prevailing front granted from the hardy showing of the intro provides it with a noted foundation and it builds finely upon this. What comes to pass is prolific and brilliant. The assertive way that the music does the talking has a lot to say. A somewhat darker ilk is felt in the textured process here. It is conveyed in the layering of the overall composition that carries off the more grandiose styling, which is felt out even more on the bridge. Yet what it represents is something with tinges of classical input meeting a sense of modernity in how the composure sends it all up. It is that evolved certainty that draws you to this for all the right reasons.
If you want to catch Grace Wilde next you can check out her gig in Whelan’s on August 30th.
For more cutting edge music check out the latest issue of Unsigned & Independent