Monday, 29 April 2013

Gabrielle Aplin - The Academy , 29 March 2013


I first discovered Gabrielle Aplin on this program about The Beatles "Please Please Me" album. She did an acoustic cover of "There's a place" , a song I had never heard before , but instantly fell in love with it.


I then googled her and found "Home", "Please Don't Say You Love Me" and "Panic Cord".  Gabrielle has done a cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "The Power of Love", which went to No. 1 in the UK and No. 20 in Ireland. I described her to a friend as a kind of female Ed Sheeran, all accoustic guitars, piano and strings, which is actually my favourite genre of music.

On the 29 March , my cousin and I went to Gabrielle's gig in the Academy in Dublin. For those of you who have never been to the Academy, it's a small-ish venue, so that's why I call it a gig not a concert. Warned by my father that it was going to be a dive, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was actually really nice, in a small pretentious hipster sort of way, which I actually really liked. When we got there this guy was playing support, and I'm really trying to find his name on the Internet, but I can't so you're just going to have to trust me that he was really good. Her next support act was a girl called Hannah Grace, who was ridiculously good. She sang an amazing version of Etta James' " I would rather go blind" and some of her own songs. All I can say is that she has the kind of voice that makes you feel like every thing you do is shit and there's no point in trying to do anything because you will never be as good as her. Seriously, she is that good.


And then after Hannah Grace finished up, and an unreasonably long wait ( during which my cousin got very impatient and insisted that Gabrielle had better have a good reason for making us wait so help her God).Gabrielle finally appeared a few minutes later, bringing with her a mug of tea and a severe case of laryngitis, which unfortunately meant that she couldn't sing any high notes, or low notes, and explained the massive delay. But despite the fact that we were essentially ripped off by a performer who couldn't perform to the best of her ability, nobody seemed to care. And I didn't care either, I really admire her for going on with the show even though she was obviously very ill. 
She started off with "Panic Cord", and the effect of the laryngitis was immediately evident, she just couldn't sing. And I should have been mad, but I wasn't, just extremely amazed and impressed by how well she was doing despite her illness. The gig continued on pretty much the same thread, with the audience joining in to help out on the high notes in "Salvation"  and "Rings Round Roses". But probably the best example of audience participation was a girl called Aoife , pulled a banner proclaiming " Can I Sing With You", and got pulled up onto the stage just in time for "The Power of Love" . And thankfully she was really good, kudos to Gabrielle for taking a gamble on that random girl from the crowd.
Just I final note to say that Gabrielle's band was amazing. Tom Crouch, a guitarist, Tadgh (Spelling??) on the fiddle, a pianist ( Tadgh's brother I think ) , a drummer and another guitarist I don't remember the name of, and they were brilliantly tight and talented. Don't quote me on any of this, because I don't even trust my own memory when it comes to minor details. But do trust me on the fact that the gig was excellent, I can only imagine how good it would have been if Gabrielle had been well. I'm definitely going to see her again when she comes to Vicar St. in November , and I would advise you to go if you have the chance to . 



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