A balmy summers evening in the North’s music capital (my opinion) and another gig, this time from one of this year’s Mercury Prize for Album of the Year (Reward), Cate Le Bon.
I knew that this was going to be a special evening so I got to Gorilla in Manchester about 45 minutes before the doors opened.
If you know this blog, you know I don’t know a lot of support artists I see, but I will always try to see them. Some of my favourite bands over the last couple of bands have been supports.
First up this evening was Grimm Grimm and the place was surprisingly empty for a sold out gig. Being at the very front I was about a foot away and so I was able to watch this Master of Music produce a support set that could only be described as other-worldly.
Armed with a relay, pedals, a guitar and a pocket piano Grimm Grimm produced a sound like I’d never heard before (at least not live anyway). It was just pure magic watching him work with so little equipment, I did take a video so you can judge for yourself but I couldn’t think of a better support for Cate.
10/10, he was simply brilliant.
As soon as these tickets went on sale for this gig, I snapped one up.
Cate le Bon is one of those artists who not that many people have heard of and until her Mercury Prize nomination even fewer would have heard of her. When the shortlist was announced for this prestigious prize the gig sold out and I’m surprised it hadn’t prior to then.
The atmosphere before Cate came on was absolutely electric, you could sense the anticipation and excitement oozing out of the now packed venue and by Christ did Cate not disappoint! Entering to a massive cheer she started with Miami: the first track from Reward, which if you know it has the most beautiful intro (go and listen). Her vocals on this track make me cry when I listen at home.
Her voice is one of those that touches the soul – I did video it (see below) so watch it and tell me how it makes you feel. Pure magic.
With such a strong track to start, some would be wondering where it could go from here?
Up next, were the next two tracks from the album Daylight Matters and Home to You before she went back to 2016’s album Crab Day with Love is Not Love.
Cate didn’t chat to the crowd that much, but when she did she was very funny. At one point she asked us if it was a hot down there as it is up here (which it was). Stopping for a drink of water later on in the set, someone shouted she should be using a single use plastic bottle. She replied she used this one at every gig, so the joke was on them....
Cate reminds me a lot of Anna Calvi, another artist who’s been shortlisted for this year’s Mercury Prize.
Cate doesn’t follow convention or trends.
She does her own thing.
Stunning vocals, beautiful saxophones, gorgeous synths, the perfect bass and drum combination put into a mix with Cates serenity and you have a match made in heaven.
Some gigs you feel blessed to be there.
Seeing an artist as brilliant as this, in such an intimate venue was spellbinding.
As always all pictures and videos are my own.