Tucked away in the intimate archway space of Bermondsey Social Club, an eager crowd had gathered to see Laura Misch perform her second ever London headline show. After her highly acclaimed self produced ‘Playground’ LP, as well as recent sessions with Red Bull Studios and WorldWide FM, we were about to witness a young artist gathering both a loyal following and some serious momentum.
On support duties for the evening was Red Bull Music Academy student Emma-Jean Thackray with her unmistakable sound of psychedelic jazz. Favourites from her ‘Walrus’ EP such as ‘Baro Bop’ and ‘Morley Bottoms’ got heads bobbing across the venue whilst we were also treated to some extremely exciting forthcoming material with Thackray on vocals.
After a short interval Laura took to the stage and wasted no time getting into an extremely atmospheric extended version of ‘Slide’ complete with a video on the projector. Sharp synths and layered sax filled all corners of the small venue and even the occasional rumbling from the trains above only added to the textural soundscape of the performance. “Sorry if that was a bit intense to start off with but the idea was to come out and have one big release,” she exclaimed at the end of the song.
Despite admitting that she had been up the previous night Youtubing ‘performance anxiety’, it really didn’t show and other tracks from her ‘Playground’ LP such as ‘Skip’ and ‘This Road’ sounded and felt like she had been performing them for years. Besides, it’s this sort of openness both onstage and offstage that make her such a great ambassador for female musicians and producers.
It was a set comprising of many dimensions, showcasing her versatility as an artist as she performed the beautifully charming ‘I Adore’ with her brother Tom before inviting the likes of Alfa Mist, Carmody, Marie Dahlstrom and Regan Bowering on stage for a high energy performance of ‘Nomad’, which was arguably the highlight of the night.
As has been typical of many of her recent live sets, Laura rounded off the evening’s proceedings with the arena worthy instrumental ‘Climb’, a real statement piece of music that highlights her recent exploration of ‘using the saxophone as a sonic vehicle to generate manipulated sounds.’
But the audience weren't done and with no backstage area to disappear to an encore was never in doubt. So Laura treated us to a reworked version of ‘Forsaken’, her first release from the ‘Playground’ LP. Dark brooding synths made way for energetic percussion and jazzy guitar solos as she flipped the mood of the song on its head completely.
It was the perfect way to end the night and a mouth watering display from an artist who proved they can light up a room both by themselves and with a band.