Pacing up and down Renfield Street in the rain while trying to find the entrance to Stereo really felt like one of the worst possible ways to end a terrible day. Finally stepping into the venue in soaking wet shoes only to realise the first band had already started playing didn’t help either. Who knew gigs with a 14+ age restriction started on time?
In spite of everything, Stereo’s chill vibe made it easy to forget about the weather and enjoy the music. Three local talents performed before the main act: Kerr Cochrane, Stephanie Cheape and a personal favourite, EMME. Bringing a bit of metaphorical sunshine and some cardboard flowers with her, Denai Moore and her band took over the stage at 9pm sharp.
The set may have only lasted about an hour, but it really satisfied the audience; incorporating a few older tracks from her first album, Elsewhere, to a setlist mainly consisting of songs from the latest We Used to Bloom seemed to make everyone quite happy. Two covers were also very well received by the audience, in particular Beyoncé’s original ‘No Angel’.
The energy of the British-Jamaican singer embraced the crowd, making her live performance a special treat for fans since that energy doesn’t seem to come through quite as effectively on the albums. This added ingredient equally made the artist’s already ambiguous musical style somehow more difficult to define – the electronic and folk influences were fairly obvious throughout, although it sometimes merged with pop and soul, such as in ‘Trickle’ and ‘Twilight’. All tracks were performed in notably different styles from their original versions, further merging diverse musical genres into what Denai refers to as her ‘genre free’ music. A unique and enjoyable experience overall.