Gabrielle Aplin – Mandela Hall, Belfast
Beginning with a back lighting to create a silhouette Gabrielle Aplin silenced the crowd with n version of “Hurt”. The 23-year-old switches to an electric guitar singing “Panic Cord” from her début album “English Rain” was released in May 2013, the tambourine beat gave an upbeat happy sound to the song and really got your foot tapping.
Moving to her second album and also brand new album “Light Up The Dark” Gabrielle sings “Heavy Heart” a new song which had an easy listening melody that the crowd seemed to love. Continuing with the new album “Fools Love” opens with kazoo sounds in opening bars and throughout the song. During the song Gabrielle then shows appreciation to backing singer and asks the crowd to join her in cheering. During “Shallow Love” another song from her new album Gabrielle asks the crowd to join in as a choir with “ooo’s and ahh’s” which created a buzz around the crowd and clearly the crowd responded well to it.
Next Gabrielle gives her band a rest and begins her acoustic set with “How Do U Feel Today?”. The soft huskiness of her voice really compliments the acoustic flow of the melody. Due to the recent passing of David Bowie, Gabrielle dedicates an acoustic cover of “Space Oddity” in memory of him. The crowd loved this touching tribute and sway to the melody.
With the whole band now back “Light Up The Dark” the first song on her new album not only rippled a sway in the crowd but also during the chorus the lighting complimented the ethos of the song by lighting the whole room. “Please Don’t Say You Love Me” from her debut album and well-known song gets the crowd swaying. Looking around at the crowd during this song resulted in seeing and hearing the crowd sing the chorus back to Gabrielle, and she seems to love it. “Slip Away” sees the English singer-songwriter put down her guitar for the first time of the night and solely sing creating such an in-depth connection with the crowd.
The crowd clearly had not had enough from the singer who originally made her mark on the music industry by conducted acoustic cover on YouTube. Gabrielle began the encore on the piano playing “Salvation” given a delicate and vulnerable performance that reflected the ethos of the lyrics. The crowd duet with her in the chorus. Finishing set with “Home” the crowd responded to the gig “All in All…” she said “…I am glad to be back playing in Northern Ireland” and after finishing her set with “Home” it was clear that the crowd we were glad to welcome her.