Gig Review by Jimi Heru with Photography by Bianca Barrett

Chelsea Wolfe

A two hour drive in the long, dark night of November 29th to The Fleece in Bristol, our first trip to this side of the western world, and it was going to be one hell of an experience.

Oh The Guilt

Oh, The Guilt opened the nights proceedings. I wasn’t sure on the support act, but arrived just in time to view their performance. I was pleasantly surprised with the band, going into it with zero expectation they definitely gave me the shock of: Oh my gosh, they’re really good.

Oh The Guilt

Oh, The Guilt – a three piece band local to Bristol – were the only support act of the evening. I was instantly impressed with their set up, all three members contributing to the vocals. Extremely tight, it felt like three individuals sharing the performance equally. They played 4 tracks and had a great ending – lots of energy throughout their short performance and they got better and better as their set went on. A fresh band to check out.

Chelsea Wolfe

How do I start with the love of my life? Chelsea Wolfe, I’ve been an avid fan of her music since a friend of mine sent me a link to her second album ‘Apokalysis’ in 2010 saying and I quote “check out this girls screaming on Pale on Pale, amazing”. Ever since my love affair with Chelsea, oh and her incredible music, has more then blossomed into an unhealthy obsession…

Luckily I had already gained a prime position at the front of the stage and knew that within a short amount of time I’d be within 5 feet from her – Bliss. The anticipation was building inside of me, I was pumped from the previous act and could hardly contain my excitement.

Chelsea Wolfe

Within 10 minutes the band had set up their instruments, the background music had changed, the volume increased and it was time for the gig to begin. The band arrived on the stage and then the musical goddess arrived on stage and grabbed her guitar. My heart pounding with excitement, she didn’t speak, she was focused. Carrion Flowers began, the resonating bass line echoed through the room – perfection.

Chelsea Wolfe

Chelsea ambled over to her mic and began to give the first lines of the performance, instantly amazing me – and I guess the rest of the audience – with her vocals, I had previously heard some live recordings, but to be there in her presence was beyond anything; she is without a doubt pitch perfect.

I can honesty say I’ve never been to a gig that was more precise and tight, the band loved playing and it was enjoyable to watch them, especially her drummer Dylan Fujioka. I say watch, but my eyes were completely fixated on Chelsea. She has this siren quality about her that would call the toughest jolly sailor to a sea of melancholic musical doom.

Chelsea Wolfe

The set list was made up primarily of her latest album Abyss, released in August this year and a few tracks from Pain is Beauty her fourth album. Abyss is deeper and more harrowing than her previous releases, the seemingly endless void she has created is brilliant.

Transitioning into each song was a slow process, however I think this was perfect for the atmosphere of the performance, those breaks of, sometimes nothing, just silence, while she tuned her guitar for the next song. Fujioka kept the silence going, but with a near silent drum roll, playing his toms, his face so deep in the feeling of the performance.

Chelsea Wolfe

There was a sense of gloom about Chelsea that she carried throughout the performance. Only once acknowledging the crowd, with a shy and quiet thank you during the middle of the set, her only movement was when she slowly moved to the back of the stage to swig her hidden bottle of alcohol. It was like a pick-me-down or a way to keep going through the gig; she has this shyness about her that is so hauntingly beautiful, and endearing.

Chelsea Wolfe

There was three highlights during the gig, the first being her incredible voice. It is difficult to describe how beautiful, dark, and simply flawless it is.

Second being her brief interaction with the crowd during ‘House of Metal’. She took off her guitar lowered her self near the floor, and took the hand of a fan as she sang, beyond feeling totally jealous, it showed more than ever a quality of care that she had for fans.

Chelsea Wolfe

Finally how she finished the gig. After the main performance was over and the encore was due, I said to myself, if she plays ‘Pale on Pale’ I think I can die happy, and to my sheer amazement she finished on it, and at that point I died a little inside.

Overall I would say this has topped my gig list and I’ve never experienced a more emotional and sheer brilliant performance that touched me so deep inside I’ll never forget it.

Chelsea Wolfe

One Response to “Chelsea Wolfe + Oh The Guilt at The Fleece, Bristol, UK – 29th November 2015”

  1. Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Chelsea Wolfe at Gorilla, Manchester, UK – 17th April 2017 Says:

    […] One thing that did bother me was the merch table, unfortunately the exact same selection of goodies as when we saw Chelsea in Bristol in late 2015. […]

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