SOAK, Brudenell Social Club, gig review: Flashes of greatness that signal the start of a successful career

Her recent Mercury Music Prize nomination is just one milestone

Daniel Dylan Wray
Wednesday 04 November 2015 14:55
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Bridie Monds-Watson walks calmly onto the stage, picks up an acoustic guitar and quietly begins to pluck the strings, without so much as a word to the audience.

There’s an almost nervous humility to her approach and the room is instantly silenced as reverb-soaked guitar strings and her intimate, yet sailing vocals recall the shimmering cry of Jeff Buckley on opener ‘Shuvels’. After a few songs alone she is joined by two band members who add texture and quiet thump to the sparse sounds. ‘Sea Creatures’ and ‘B a noBody’ gain audible yelps as they start up, the latter perfectly capturing the yo-yoing no man’s land of teenage emotions.

Despite some more up-tempo and noisier blasts of guitar, over the course of an hour the material and sonic template feels a little stretched – the noisier moments never feel uninhibited enough and the quieter moments never reach a level of intimacy to become wholly absorbing. But in-between there are flashes of greatness that signal the start of a long and successful career for SOAK, her recent Mercury Music Prize nomination being just one milestone.

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