By Eleanor Stammeijeir (@ElStammjam)
11.11.15. Under The Bridge, London
It’s safe to say that Under the Bridge is officially my new favourite venue, and not just because of the name. It was the perfect place for Skye’s showcase of her latest album, In A Low Light. Not only were the people at the venue wonderful, but their toilets had two wins in the 2014 ‘Loo of the Year Awards’. If that doesn’t raise the bar for music venues all around, I don’t know what does.
The room for the album showcase had more smoke than people to begin with. Several tables were set up near the small stage and the whole place was packed once Skye took to the stage. Through the fog you could just make out the set and lights that dangled from the ceiling, resembling wire-stuffed test tubes. Can’t get more alternative than that – or so we thought, until the first set began.
Composer and producer Robert Logan hit the stage accompanied by a man who played an instrument I still don’t know the name of – some kind of miniature cornet, a brass instrument. The music played was definitely at odds with the setting, with interesting combination of electronic with perhaps folk, but this brass-looking instrument soon created this middle-eastern sound. Completely different to anything I’ve listened to before, but it was still impressive to listen to.
Soon enough Skye took to the stage, along with Robert Logan and bassist Steve Gordon, and I had to suppress the urge to hum the line ‘a singer in a smoky room’. It was great to just watch three performers create such an incredible sound, and I have to admit that I like the music off the album so much more after attending the event. There’s something about live music that just can’t be beaten. It’s not just about the all-consuming sound, but the overall performance and engagement with the audience.
Skye herself was mesmerising, and with the addition of the test-tube lights the whole set just seemed enchanting coupled with her music. She described it as a ‘Night-time album’, which I think sums it up perfectly. It’s also safe to say that In A Low Light is not only a good name for the album, but for Skye’s whole aesthetic.
One stand out song for me had to be ‘Cry’, possibly because it was one of my least favourites off the album. I remember it for a completely different reason. Skye demonstrated the different effects a voice can create, using two microphones and a lot of reverb. Everything about it was mellow and it was wonderfully calming to listen to.
My favourite part of the night, however, was interestingly when a mistake was made, causing them to start over the song. The easy laughter from the performers was contagious, and the chat with the audience made everything far more intimate. This wasn’t a polished, perfected set for a sold-out gig – this was a sharing of music from one person to another.
The encore seemed even more informal, and fantastically so; Skye proving to be a fantastic performer with great stage presence and personality. Overall, a wonderful event.