When it was first announced that Tirzah would be headlining her first Bristol show at Trinity Centre I was beyond excited. This is one of those artists you always see announcing gigs in London, but rarely venture past their home turf. But with the 2018 release of her long-awaited debut album Devotion, Tirzah has finally hit the road this year to celebrate her gentle love songs with fans around the UK.
To kick off the night, Bristol based singer Mercy’s Cartel took to the stage to deliver a set filled with pure soul and afrobeat fusions, drawing influences from Solange, Frank Ocean and Erykah Badu. Shortly after her captivating set, three faint silhouettes took to the stage, bringing the crowd to complete silence as they waited in anticipation for the music to begin. A loud vocal loop kicked in followed by a low-fi beat, leading Tirzah out of the shadows to commence her heartfelt set.
A loud vocal loop kicked in followed by a low-fi beat, leading Tirzah out of the shadows to commence her heartfelt set
Joined by her live band with Mica Levi (Micachu) and Coby Sey, Tirzah brought the sounds of Devotion to life on stage, including tracks Get Away, Holding On and Go Now. A stand out track from the set in particular was title track Devotion, featuring Coby Sey’s tender vocals and Mica Levi’s delicate delivery on the piano.
It’s not often you go to a gig and see only two mobile phones pulled out in the crowd
The crowd were captivated by Tirzah’s quiet, introverted presence, but as soon as she began to sing, her soft vocals filled the room bringing the room to a stand-still. It’s not very often you go to a gig and see only two mobile phones pulled out in the crowd throughout the entire show, but this minimal, yet mesmeric dreamlike performance captured the crowd’s imagination. Tirzah even ran her fingers through chimes in between songs to add to the ambience on stage.
The only tracks really missing from the set list were some of Tirzah’s older and bass heavier songs
The only tracks really missing from the set list were some of Tirzah’s older and bass heavier songs, like Make It Up and I’m Not Dancing that, truthfully, could’ve done with being included to deliver more of a varied tone to the night and give us something to tap our feet to. Instead, the gentle sounds and calming presence from Tirzah, Levi and Sey brought the entire crowd into a trance-like state for the gig’s entirety.
Photos by Paul Lippiatt