Wallis Bird at The Garage, Highbury, London, May 11 2014
So last Sunday night, I headed along to catch Wallis Bird at The Garage in London. The night was opened by Rachel Ries who recently released her own album ‘Ghost of a Gardener’. Ries, who played electric guitar, was for the most part accompanied on keys by a gentleman with an Irish accent, but whose name escaped me. There was a little of her playing keys. but the fact that she played electric guitar seemed to take her out of the little female piano playing singer songwriter cage.
Architect is Wallis Bird’s fourth album and her most successful. This tour to support the album has seen more people than before come to see Wallis live. And it’s not surprising to see why. On record, Architect, is a fantastically accomplished piece of work, live, her enthusiasm for her music shines through, as does her honesty and authenticity. Bird and her band put on a great show, musicianship is tight and second to none but there’s also room for spontaneity. She plays tracks from her current album along with that of her older catalogue and it’s easy to see that belongs on stage.
Bird’s humour shines through on stage, yes she has some terrible jokes. Even though. when she speaks about more serious between songs, such as gender equality Bird lovingly refers to Jesus Sausage. (This is the night after Conchita Wurst’s win at Eurovision).
But the music speaks loudest of all and when you hear tracks like Communion, To My Bones, Hardly Hardly, Blossoms in the Street, I Can Be Your Man and Encore, it’s easy to see that Wallis Bird is one of the best artists of our generation. Great songs, great band, great stage presence, if you haven’t seen her live, you are doing yourself and injustice.