I never begin a blog post without promising to do more, but this time the world of social media and the real world has forced my hand. Most of the gigs I cover from now on will be featured here on the website, and be accompanied by a few words.
Tonight was a long time coming. I have wanted to see Zola Jesus live for ages, and hadn't realised that it was four years since she had played the UK until she said so tonight. It was also my first visit to The Belgrave Music Hall in Leeds too (which is unbelievable!)
So here are a couple of thoughts on both....
Mika Roza Danilova is better know by her stage name Zola Jesus, and it has been way too long since she last visited. A new album, Taiga, brings her back to these shores. She is a really thought provoking artist. The first impression is that she sounds like..... I know, it is a hideous life being a female singer in that voices get stereotyped all the time. I often argue about just how much of a problem this is and that it should be avoided at all costs.
So, she sounds like Zola Jesus, with several of the often mentioned influences. The new album is a lot more bouncy and upbeat then previous works in places. She is also brunette, not blonde. What hasn't changed is her ability to set the spine tingling. She switches between soaring melody and descent into nervous breakdown on stage effortlessly.
She is a joy to take pictures of if the light appears at the right moment.
Pauses in a song are often accompanied by her hair being thrown around and a collapse into a state of despair.
She is breathtaking to watch and definitely has the ability to send shivers down the spine. This was the second date of her tour and she is definitely one to catch if you get the chance.
Belgrave Music Hall - Venue
I can't believe it has been a year since it has been open and this is the first time I have taken pics at the Belgrave Music Hall (particularly since the opening night featured one of my favourite bands!). I've visited a few times to sample the beers and the food (both of which are cracking), but never been to a gig there. It's a great venue though. Nice and open, with a few different levels. Clearly some thought gone into the layout with quite a lot of seated spaces and a nice open stage. The lighting rig is a joy compared to most venues of the size as there is actually some attention to lighting the front lip of the stage. I like it, I like it a lot.