Rocky Horror Show

Live: Sounddhism and I'm Not From London present Low Leaf

22 August 15 words: Bridie Squires
We went to The Bodega to check out the L.A harpist alongside Shelter Point and Yazmin Lacey for a night of ultimate tunage
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Photo: Daniel Whiston

After just touching down from the madness of Boomtown Fair at the weekend, my half-sane self was craving some interesting live sounds to pack the tabs once again. Sounddhism had booked Low Leaf last year at The Running Horse but I missed her back then. And I’d managed to miss her at The Wandering Word at Boomtown, so I wasn’t about to let the talented Filipino-rooted belle slip through my fingers once again. Plus, the beautiful Miss Lacey and power duo Shelter Point were there for support, both local artists I’ve had on repeat. Excitement loomed.

First up was Yazmin Lacey - slow-paced, raspy and heart-twisting. After seeing Yazmin go from strength to strength in live performances over a short time, it was wonderful to see her own the stage and host her set with confidence, having a laugh with the crowd and making eye contact. She’s got this intent look in her eyes to match an earthy vibration of a voice that comes riddled with hidden stories. Absolutely mesmerizing to both watch and listen to.

Shelter Point have been a firm favourite ever since I saw them perform Serenity and Braille on BBC’s The Beat. It was easy to get sucked in to a session of their looming, bass-heavy haunts of tunes – I just can’t believe it’s taken me so long so see them live. Thankfully, they did not disappoint.

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Photo: Daniel Whiston

With vocalist Liam Arnold hitting every note known to mankind and producer Robin Hearn hashing it out on an amalgamation of devices, the duo created these truly amazing electronic sounds that spoke to every fibre. Soft, cuddly synths lay under flitting, panicked waves of bass, with Liam’s entranced lyricism leading us through the comfortable chaos. I’m completely besotted with their sound.

The lady we’d all been waiting for, Low Leaf, swayed onto stage and fiddled around with her set-up for a while before coyly smirking at a flattering introduction from Adam Pickering. Low Leaf looked as interesting as she sounded – a thick ring hanging from her nose, a colourful cloth wrapping the top half of her head, a heavily patterned black and white get-up, and an intricate tattoo covering the top half of her arm. And Jesus, she is stunning.

If that wasn’t enough to keep the stares focussed forwards, she then plucked at her harp with veracity and speed that can only come from years of practice. But rather than conform to the classical norm, Low Leaf creates something truly unique. Switching up beat landings with high-pitched wails threading in and out of head nods, she flows through her complicated tunes seemingly effortlessly, eyes closed the whole time.

Eventually she turned to her complex keyboard and got us all to sit on the floor of The Bodega while listening to some more atmospheric sounds that grew into huge, peaceful wobbles and froze the crowd. Low Leaf was completely engrossed and carried us along with her before turning back to her harp – a firm favourite. At times, Low Leaf’s lyrics are a bit cheese for me, and others they are truly blinding, but either way her voice carries them to a place that resonates with true emotion. She’s a proper, hypnotic artist and I feel quite privileged having witnessed her performance.

All this goodness, dotted with funky soul from Afrowax DJs, made for an evening of screwed up faces that will be very difficult to forget indeed.

Low Leaf, Shelter Point and Yazmin Lacey performed at The Bodega on Wednesday 19 August 2015.

Sounddhism website
I’m Not From London website

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