Gig Review + Photography by Jeremy Carron

Bryde a.k.a. Sarah Howells, is a singer-songwriter who is currently taking 2018 by storm! Having just recently released her debut album, ‘Like An Island’, Bryde has been on tour across the UK and tonight brings her to London’s Omeara, for one final show to close the UK leg of the tour!

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The night started with support from Pip Hall. Playing an acoustic set, she instantly grabbed the crowd’s attention with just the sound of her voice accompanied by the guitar. Once her soulful set was over, the crowd were ready and eagerly waiting for Bryde to take the stage!

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The band walked on to the stage to the cheers of the fans and began the set with ‘Wouldn’t That Make You Feel Good’. The song began softly, before transforming into a different type of sound entirely, with fierce guitar playing and drumming. It very much set the tone for the rest of the gig and clearly demonstrated Sarah’s ability to go from performing with the sound of a gentle soul, to unleashing this fierce intensity on the guitar, all while having the vocal range to match! A great start to the show.

‘Honey’ followed and was a more bouncy track, filled with attitude. Afterwards, Sarah addressed the crowd for the first time and thanked everyone for coming out, before saying how she always forgets to breathe before a London show! After the impressive opening to her set, I think it was safe to say she wasn’t the only one, as I’m sure there would have been many other fans that had their breath taken away!

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‘Handstands’ and ‘Fast Awake’ were up next. Both tracks did a good job in showing off Howells’s vocal range once again. Sarah’s banter in between tracks was brilliant, as she delved into funny stories of on-tour antics and anecdotes, even narrating the awkward silence while tuning her guitar, at one point!

The pace was slowed down a notch with the emotional track, ‘Wait’, one of Bryde’s earliest singles. It was a performance filled with raw emotion and revealed a vulnerable quality in Sarah’s song writing. ‘Flesh, Blood and Love’, however picked things up again and turned it up to eleven, with an energetic performance from the band. “Desire” followed and kept the energy flowing.

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The next track was preceded by one of the best introductions I’ve ever heard at a gig, when Sarah said, “Umm… yeah, this is another song!” before performing ‘Steady Heart’, a soulful performance, with just Sarah’s vocals together with the guitar. It felt as if the whole crowd in Omeara were holding their breath, as they hung on every word sung by Howells.

After the previous peaceful track, the set was balanced out once more when a loud, contrasting performance of ‘Peace’ followed! The song was another high energy performance, which went down really well with the audience in Omeara. ‘To Be Loved’ was up next, followed by ‘Help Yourself’, another of Bryde’s earlier tracks. It was well known by the fans, who even sang along during the song.

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‘Transparent’ had Sarah performing alone on the guitar, for one last time in the set. Afterwards, she thanked the crowd once more for coming to the show and told them how this had been the official album launch party for ‘Like An Island’. Howells was rejoined by her band members for ‘To Be Brave’, the penultimate song in the set. A slow build track, that went down really well with the crowd and led straight into the final track of the set, ‘Less’. A loud and energetic song made it a strong closing track.

In what had been an amazing night of music, it’s clear to see that Bryde’s versatility as a singer-songwriter is on another level entirely! 2018 really has been an amazing year so far for Bryde and judging from the gig I had just been to, I’m sure there’s a lot more to come in the future too!

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Setlist:

Wouldn’t That Make You Feel Good / Honey / Handstands / Fast Awake / Wait / Flesh, Blood and Love / Desire / Steady Heart / Peace / To Be Loved / Help Yourself / Transparent / To Be Brave / Less

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