Review: Bryde at The Camden Assembly, London

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Image via Imogen Arthur

The first night of Bryde’s UK tour was a resounding success. The three-level casual setting of The Camden Assembly perfectly fit Bryde’s mixed aged audience. The dimly lit upstairs room was filled with avid fans as well as new faces, which she herself even noticed stating that it was the first time in a while that she didn’t recognise most of the audience.

Her expanding following was obvious, with one excited fan shouting “we love you Birdie”, to which Bryde whimsically retorted that he was at the wrong gig, but she was gracious nonetheless. She played her most famous hits, including Less, Wouldn’t That Make You Feel Good, and Honey, to the sounds of raucous applause, as well as mixing in a few new songs which also received a great response. Her music is one to be appreciated, but not one which many people sung along with. Perhaps as her popularity grows, so will the audience participation.

Bryde, real name Sarah Howells, is a welsh singer-songwriter who is probably best known for being one part of indie-folk band Paper Aeroplanes. in 2015, Howells started Bryde as a solo project, and from then she has had airplay on BBC Radio 1, as well as being named BBC Introducing’s Artist of the Week.

Her quiet demure in between songs made her confidence during her performance even more admirable. There were few anecdotes between songs perhaps due to the short set time, or maybe because her personal songs already enable the audience to get to know her. The connection between Bryde and the audience is inescapable. The small setting paired with her emotional sound draws the audience in, only to be left amazed after her hour-long set had finished. The comfort of the setting made it a personal experience, unlike the detachment you see at larger venues. A personal favourite moment was when she played the beautiful Wait, which was the debut single from her Help Yourself EP. Her musical ability was truly evoked by her ability to showcase her softness as then the strength of her voice. Her powerful performance of Help Yourself elevated the show from soothing to impassioned.

After her set had finished she return to the stage, but this time entering the small crowd to sing Back to Believing, where she was accompanied with backing vocals by (I’m assuming) her avid fans who have seen her live before. It was an unexpected moment for my first time watching Bryde, but one which made the show even the more memorable.

Bryde’s immense talent shone through, from her unexpectedly powerful voice to her skilled guitar playing. She was a delight to see live and definitely one to watch.

Find tickets for the rest of her tour here.

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