November 6th 2013 | UEA | Gigs
Words: Liam Forkes | Photo: Charlotte King
On the evening of November 6th 2013, the UEA LCR was preparing itself for Gabrielle Aplin. People queued outside to see the 21-year-old singer-songwriter famous for her cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s "The Power Of Love", and tonight two talented and charming support acts led way to an impressive and powerful set.
First on the bill was Soham De, a young singer-songwriter from King’s Lynn. As soon as he introduced himself, he was immediately likeable and genuine. It was clear that he had no airs or graces, it was simply him and a guitar enjoying himself. He thanked Aplin for bringing him on the tour, and played through a small set of both covers and original songs. Whilst his vocals were not the strongest, he is clearly good at what he does and is definitely going places. On the technical side, his vocals were perhaps slightly too quiet, although this was not a major issue. Towards the end of his set, a not-unexpected Ed Sheeran cover was surprising due to De’s own twist on it; it was clever and impressive. Overall, a good introduction.
Next up was Italian-English acoustic singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti. He immediately demonstrated his talent, and was incredibly impressive vocally. He consistently moved around on stage and made sure to enjoy himself. He had nice audience interactions which, like De before him, made him much more likeable and genuine. It could be argued that he was slightly generic, as ultimately there was nothing to separate him from any other acoustic singer-songwriter, although his lyrics were still good. He, like De, thanked Aplin for bringing him on the tour and overall. Savoretti made a good impression and left the crowd hungry for Aplin.
Finally, the lights dimmed and Aplin herself, accompanied by a band, donned the stage. Breaking into "Keep On Walking", her powerful voice pierced the room, and left all stunned. The band around her kept to the high standard set, and musically the entire set was impressive.
The crowd responded very enthusiastically, with most of them singing along to the music and chanting and applauding frequently. Aplin herself continued to interact with the crowd, even having casual conversations. One that stood out was when Aplin asked “What do people in Norwich do?” and a member of the crowd replied “You!” This sort of banter shows Aplin to be a genuine and likeable girl, and makes the show a lot better for all watching. All people seemed to enjoy this kind of conversing. On-stage, however, Aplin seemed to move little; although this was due to her instrument-playing, this greatly lessened the impact of the set.
Aplin’s cover of "The Power Of Love" naturally excited all in the crowd, and sent shivers through the spines of many, although this was not the only cover. Aplin also covered Miley Cyrus’ "Wrecking Ball", an unexpected cover although a good decision as the cover itself was impressive and the crowd reacted incredibly well. Aplin’s ability to make any song her own is one of the things that shows how far she is going with her career in music.
As the set came to a close with "Home", the crowd were evidently pleased with the spectacle they have just witnessed: Two impressive supports paving the way for a powerful voice and an impressive set from Gabrielle Aplin. Aplin reached great heights that evening, and it would seem she can only go higher.