- 04 Dec 19
The eccentric songsmith captivated a packed Vicar Street with her angelic croon and brilliant tunes.
In April, Aldous Harding released Designer, a spellbinding collection of folk songs that made for one of the best albums of the year. It was a breakthrough moment for the underground troubadour; Harding was now on every indie fan's radar. Last night, I was lucky enough to see her in action as she delivered a mesmerizing performance featuring the best songs off of the record.
Harding opened the show with two solo numbers that displayed her remarkable range and vibrato. It became quickly evident that though her music is pleasant to the ear, her otherworldly persona situates her amongst outsiders. While she performed she contorted her face and made strange gestures. Not that any of that was a problem, on the contrary, it was totally awesome.
Following that, her backing band took to the stage and launched into cuts off of Designer. The group was well-oiled and mixed to perfection. Highlight's included 'Zoo Eyes' with its soaring vocal performance and a sublime rendition of the 'The Barrel.'
Across the concert, Harding's banter was kept to a bare minimum, and when it came up it was cryptic. For example, she once addressed the crowd between songs simply saying, "Knock knock." To which the crowd appropriately responded: "Who's there?" Harding answered, "Me." She did not entertain the follow-up question of, "Me who?" I suppose that's just part of her peculiar charm.
On the back end of the show, we were treated to a haunting rendition of fan-favorite 'Damn.' She then closed things out with an emotionally climactic performance of the first song off of her record Party, 'Blend.'
Returning to the stage for an encore, Harding treated fans to a new song entitled 'Old Peel.' I'm happy to report that it's proof that she has a lot more excellent material to share. The song was driven by Harding clanking a cowbell as her band cooked up a bouncy folk jam.
It was certainly a special performance, and perhaps it's one we will be able to relive. Though we can't be sure what the footage was used for, camera crews were on-hand all night. Could a Live at Vicar Street film be in the works? I couldn't say. However, what I can say for sure is that Aldous Harding put on one of the most entrancing gigs of the year last night.