Updated: Nov 24, 2019
Thursday night saw the 02 Ritz play host to this gig moved from Gorilla due to demand and to be fair on Jade Bird this was a better venue for her... I love both venues but the difference in capacity of 600 to 1,500 made for a bigger audience. More on that later.
I met Kaylee my photographer mate from Sheffield who I'd seen the night before at Yonaka for a cheeky pint before the gig in The Salisbury in Manchester. One of my favourite pubs in town. No nonsense, rock jukebox and no fuss. You can be anyone in that pub and no one bats an eyelid - the way it should be! So we chatted about Yonaka's incredible gig the night before (review here) and after giving me some photography tips she headed to Academy to see them again and I headed to the 02 Ritz.
It was lovely to see a dad and daughter behind me in the queue - she was 9! How cool! She was saying she likes the cool songs. I asked her if she meant Uh Huh? She said yes and we all laughed.... It made me sad as I miss my daughter a lot (she's nearly 15 and I did take her to a gig earlier this year we went to see Band of Skulls at Stoller Hall in Manchester - before this blog was born). But I digress.
The barriers were already full up so I opted to do something I hadn't done at the O2 Ritz yet - I went up to the balcony and as it turned out from a photography and video point of view I got some incredible ones... so all's well that ends well.
Up first was Annabel Allum just her an her guitar, which made her music sound very different as I'm used to listening to her with a band. The place had a few hundred in and she played really well. She said she very grateful to be able to play in Manchester and she loved this city (who doesn't and of course she's right - Manchester is so blessed when it comes to its music). I managed to record one song and it's very different to the other version. She has a wealth of material to stream so give her a listen.
Second up were Mosa Wild who I'd not heard of prior to tonight and I was pleasantly surprised at how good they were! The place was quite full now.... easily 800+ which made the atmosphere better. They played around 30 minutes and again they said how they were really looking forward to playing Manchester. I really liked them a lot and they're playing The Deaf Institute in March next year so I'm probably going to go and see them again. Again I recorded a song and having listened to them since on Spotify I'm growing to love this band. Give them a go!
Then the headliner Jade Bird - by now the place was packed and I managed to take a rather beautiful picture of the full venue (see cover picture) - The thing that blew me away most about Jade Bird was her voice. I mean we know she has a great voice, but live it's something else. The range, sheer volume and overall performance means she has to have vocal chords made of steel! This ladies singing is incredible and combined with her amazing guitar and piano playing you really need to see this lady live if you're fan. Trust me you will love her!
The venue change is good for her because she deserves to play big venues. The thing about the change though is that you loose that intimacy - which I love most. At one point she did a solo just her and her guitar and the amount of people talking during this really pissed me off! If you're going to a gig to see an artist and they're going to play a quiet song STFU so others can hear it! Rant over - and I don't like to be negative either but they spoiled it for others when she was playing this stripped back track.
As well as covering Blondie's Call Me (I nearly died) she also covered Radioheads beautiful Black Star (video below) and you'll see what I mean about the talking. It just spoiled it a bit, I think. I love to talk but don't do it the whole blooming song!
It was great being on the balcony because I got to be able to watch the audiences reaction and there was clearly a lot of people in that room who love her music - the joy live music brings is tribal, it hits the soul like nothing else really can.
I managed to record a lot of videos because I wanted to so I've included Uh-Huh, Black Star, and Love Has All Been Done Before in this review - the rest including I Get No Joy, Blondie Call Me and more are on my YouTube channel.
As per all photographs and videos are my own - more videos from the gig are on my YouTube channel.
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