Live Review: Aldous Harding @ Broadcast, Glasgow 25th May 2017

aldous harding

It is a full room, sold out in fact and let us begin by getting the elephant in the room out of the way. I had heard murmurings of Aldous having performed her song Horizon on The Jools Holland show just a couple of days before. The song was not the elephant, it’s actually one of my favourite and no doubt the reason the gig was so well attended. The elephant is the many faces Aldous expresses whilst singing. There is an element of Winona Ryder at the SAG Awards about it and at some points I did wonder if she was taking the piss as I definitely sensed an element of mischief about her which I find incredibly endearing. As did the whole of Broadcast it would seem. With songs like “What if birds aren’t singing they’re screaming” this idea is kind of cemented but whether the face shapes are down to the emotion put into performing or there is an element of tongue in cheek about it this was a gig that I woke up thinking about the next morning and which made me want to put her album Party on repeat!

Let’s talk about Party actually; it is the title track from this Aldous’s second album. Once heard I’d say it’s hard to forget, elements of Joanna Newsom cannot be ignored and in the same vein then neither can you ignore elements of Kathryn Joseph. A lot of her songs sound a little eerie but also atmospheric, Goldfrapp’s Felt Mountain mixed with the quirkiness of Twin Peaks. (Disclaimer: I’ve only seen a couple of episodes of Twin Peaks, I am assuming it’s quirky, could be creepy, damn fine coffee though, apparently).

The capacity crowd is respectful to all that Aldous is, her intensity, her surreal performance, her cheeky moments and of course her music. Everyone is silent with a focus on hearing every last sound coming from the stage; it is almost like the music holds everyone in a trance and only when it stops is there noise and that noise is the rapture of applause and appreciation. The crowd is so silent in fact that when someone sneezed it seemed rude for it not to be acknowledged, so it was when someone else across the room said bless you. Aldous seemed to appreciate this and gave a little smile.

She was very much appreciated by Broadcast that night, Imaging my Man and Living the Classics amongst the songs performed, all of which would sound perfect whilst sitting next to a river on a sunny day or in a basement in Glasgow any night of the week. The venues she plays are only going to get bigger so best go whilst you can still get close enough to see her express her gorgeous music up close.