Aboard the musical boat of Thekla last night, Gabrielle Aplin, left the audience in awe as she took to the stage with her beautiful renditions of classics and her breath-taking live performances of her original songs.
The singer-songwriter, from a small village in Wiltshire, said that she deems Bristol as her home gig and took to the sold-out show in front of fans, family and friends.
Her love for performing at home was showcased by devoting her song Rings Round Roses to her ill Dad. The concert was the first live show her father was able to attend this year due to his illness, making the sentimental tribute even more moving.
Before Aplin took to the stage, The Bronze Medal and Josh Osho warmed up the crowd. The Bronze Medal, an indie band from Bath, didn’t seem to make a lasting impression on the audience as the crowd held conversations over the band’s performance. When Josh Osho, a singer-songwriter from South London, arrived on stage he won over the crowd with his soft, soulful voice and his sweet charm.
Gabrielle Aplin, the voice of the 2012 John Lewis Christmas advert, wowed the audience with her cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s famous The Power of Love, which features in the snowman themed ad. John Lewis backing Aplin is an opportunity for a career boost with her cover now reaching the number 1 spot, in the UK Official Singles Chart, weeks before Christmas. This could be the start of extraordinary things for Aplin.
This November tour is the first time she has taken to the stage with a full band, instead of alone with her beloved guitar and piano. Aplin has come a long way since beginning her career, by uploading home recorded videos to YouTube, at the age of 14. Performing with a band only strengthened her performance with the extra instruments and backing vocals of band members complimenting her vocals.
Nevertheless, it is clear that Gabrielle Aplin hasn’t quite reached the professional level yet with her clumsy changes between songs, as she tuned her guitar, swapped to her piano or changed audio levels. All was recovered well with her excitable mood resulting in friendly chit-chat with the audience; even discussing the Chinese she had eaten earlier in the day.
Leaving the stage after singing November, a new and unknown song to the audience, it was obvious the crowd would receive an encore. Aplin returned with the quip “I couldn’t leave without singing the only song you all know” and went on to sing her well-known song Home. As she encouraged the spectators to sing a chorus completely on their own, they sang at the top of their lungs. It can be said the crowd did not hold the same talent as Aplin but they certainly left the venue with ecstatic smiles.
Aplin has an awe-astounding amount of talent. She made the audience fall silent at the power and gentleness of her voice and cast them under a spell to watch in wonder throughout her entire set. Even though she lacks experience in switchovers between songs she is already an exceptional performer and she will continue to progress even more over time.
If you were unable to catch Gabrielle Aplin in concert this time round, she returns to Bristol to perform on Saturday 12th March 2013 at The Trinity Centre. If her Thekla performance is anything to go by, this is a gig not to be missed.
Artists: Gabrielle Aplin, Josh Osho and The Bronze Medal
Date: 20th November 2012
Venue: Thekla, Bristol