Gabrielle Aplin - Unique Lullaby
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Gabrielle Aplin

- Saturday, 13 February 2016. to read...
Cardiff Student Union with its intimacy with the stage yet also rammed full of atmosphere. It never fails to disappoint. Fans all dedicated and patiently waiting to see Gabrielle Aplin, the headline act of the night but also very appreciative and intent to listen.

"I'm a songwriter so I can't write songs when I'm happy, it's so frustrating" 

It was a night of talented singer songwriters and the first to take the stage was Welsh singer songwriter Hannah Grace. Performing at Cardiff was of course the home town gig therefore the energy was electric. Hannah began with her sweet and soulful voice filling up the union with soft  melodic riffs that echoed nicely leaving the audience in awe.  Recently the young artist was part of BBC Horizons scheme, an amazing platform for talented young artists like herself to perform here there and everywhere as well play some fantastic live sessions in iconic venues such as Maida Vale. Hannah has a great presence on stage and captivated the audience with this strong soulful aperture. Performing songs from her previous EP Meant To Be Kind including the explosive title track itself. It was my first time seeing Hannah Grace live and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Lyrically her songs are beautifully written and filled with strong ballad potentials that immerse you into placing yourself in a similar situation. As the set came to an end she left us with her addictive new single 'Keep You're Love' a lovely bluesy track which takes a slightly different road to the singer/songwriters original approach but it is just as captivating. Not only is it bluesy but it has that sexy rock 'n' roll edge which can get you dancing. ***SEE BELOW FOR MY INTERVIEW WITH HANNAH GRACE***

Next to grace the stage was Oxfordshire Singer/Songwriter Lewis Watson. Lewis gave us a wonderful stripped back set with lots of personality. His music is very easy listening with some interesting lyrical themes. The crowd were singing along to their favorites including 'Stay' and 'Into The Wild' songs which tell really nice individual stories that sit nicely with the gentle guitar strumming. Great with the audience he brought us into the stories of some of the tracks he was performing, including revealing one of his songs is about a dream he had, which was a lovely imaginative touch. Throughout his set we saw some old well known tracks from 2014 album The Morning before moving us into some new material he has recently written. Keeping with the contemporary style with his music we were immersed into these new songs and they gained a great reception from the audience. 'Maybe We're Home', the newest track of the young singer songwriter released just a few weeks ago on the 29th of January, was my favorite of the night as the track not only keeps with the contemporary style but also adds a nice kick throughout the track. A lovely set from Lewis Watson. 

And finally we were met with the headline act and the artist everyone had of course been anticipating. Gabrielle Aplin bounded onto the stage, solo in darkness with her opening song 'Coming Home'. The crowd was totally silent as this song echoed effortlessly around the room. A beautiful start to the set as we just heard Gabrielle's forceful vocals dominate the room with the soft pick of her guitar. We then moved on introducing Hannah Grace back to the stage as backing vocals along with the rest of her talented band. Gabrielle as open as she is with her songwriting told some wonderful stories about her songs and cluing us into one of her songs being written purely about being anoid as the artist told us all that she was happy and can only write songs when shes sad so this particular track was about being anoid, a really interesting concept. Throughout her  set we saw some old and new and particularly resounding songs which left you in thought such as 'Fools Love' and 'What did you do?' from her new album 'Light Up The Dark' released back in 2015. The live element with Gabrielle Aplin brings in more of a country escapade due to the more prominent live violin which resounded more live than on recording combined with vocal technique and guitar which is a nice live touch to this performance. We saw a mixture of band and stripped back performances which felt very personal
and were captivating to watch. She also surprised us all with a beautiful cover of David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' a very stripped version and wonderfully sung, it had every Bowie fan in the room singing and enjoying. As the set went on we had some old favorites from the 2013 album English Rain such as 'Panic Cord' and 'How Do You Feel Today?' including the audience taking control and singing their hearts out. We then came to the end of the set and the encore which included brilliant anthemic song salvation played wonderfully on stage on the keyboard by Gabrielle before ending the entire set, quite rightly so, with 'Home'. A captivating artist to see live and relaxing atmospheric set which is what the singer/songwriter is about through the personality, lyrically and performance.  

Check Out My Interview With Hannah Grace Here:

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to start making music?

I'm from South Wales, and love writing and singing songs. I'm currently studying Jazz at the Royal Welsh college of music in Cardiff as well as working on my own music! 

     So since the release of your fantastic EP ‘Meant To Be Kind’, which is beautifully 
written by the way, you have been part of the BBC Horizons scheme, how has that been for you?

The horizon scheme has been really great for me, I've lived getting an opportunity to perform live so often and meet and work with other musicians on the Welsh music scene! 

       And of course through this you played the iconic Maida Vale Studios, how did it feel to perform some tracks there?

It was such an amazing experience to get to record there. It's such a special place - the engineers were so amazing at what they do it was just really enjoyable and easy going! Definitely a very memorable day! 

       You’ve played many festivals, had some great radio airplay and also supported Hozier, have you got another busy year coming up?

I graduate in July! And I can't wait to release more music by the summer and put all my time into my own music! I hope to keep very busy and gig as often as I can! 

     You have just released ‘Keep Your Love’ a song from your upcoming EP, which has a tremendous blusey sound, what has the writing and recording process been like in creating you’re new material?

I absolutely love writing songs. I've been working with Luke Potashnick again on new music and we really have an amazing time putting the music together - he produces the tracks too so it's a really team effort! 

     What can we expect to hear from you’re new EP?

It's very bluesy and gutsy with a real live sound. I love performing live and really wanted to get this across I recordings! I'm excited for people to hear it! 

   Where do you gain writing inspiration from?

My inspiration usually comes from things happening around me, either in my life or a friends. I'm also really inspired by other people's music in particular Florence and the machine and hozier, I love their story telling style and band sound. 

       Next you’re off on tour with Gabrielle Aplin, what are you most looking forward to about the tour?

I love touring with Gabrielle - it's just a big bunch of friends playing music every night! I get to play my own music first which I'm very excited about and then join Gabrielle's band for her set - it's just so much fun! 

     What can we expect to hear from you’re set?

New music! I'm playing some songs from my first EP, my new single "Keep Your Love" as well as other new music I've been writing! I'm looking forward to performing every night! 

    And finally are you writing anything more at the moment that we could expect to hear over the next year? 

I hope to release my next EP after the tour and gig more over the summer and then just write and record as much as I can, I can't wait! 

Listen to Hannah Grace:

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