Photo Credit: Jessikah Hope Stenson
Bristol’s The Louisiana has hosted some incredible names over the years. Back in ’98 you could see Muse and Coldplay for £3 apiece and since then artists such as Amy Winehouse, The Black Keys and Kings Of Leon have graced the stage. Known as the venue which all the greats start with, it must be exciting for any band to get a gig there, and you could sense that in the atmosphere when Beverly headlined there, supported by Box Of Light and Saint Sister.
Opening act Saint Sister were brilliant. The first three songs were all new tracks and ordinarily hearing new songs at a gig can be frustrating for a crowd, but Saint Sister completely pulled it off. The first newbie, Tin Man was a stand-out from the set, with a refrain that I can still remember the day after (which is pretty good for just one listen). Half Awake followed, another new one which I’m looking forward to hearing on Saint Sister’s second EP. Then their backing band left the stage and Morgan told the crowd, “Now is the point in the set when we’d usually play a creepy lullaby, but we thought we’d lift the mood for you… This song is called Corpses”. Saint Sister’s harp was most powerful in this one, making the song wonderfully creepy and beautiful at the same time. I’m assured Saint Sister’s second EP will be out soon – so keep your eyes out for that. The second half of the set consisted of pre-released tracks, Castles, Blood Moon and Madrid, all of which were a completely different experience to listening to the music digitally. Blood Moon especially had a huge build-up and powerful outro.
After a short break Box Of Light took to the stage, joined with three band members who provided a fully-fleshed ‘90s pop-rock sound. Their songs Shades and Paradise were obvious stand-out tracks, getting the crowd moving while You Try showed the band’s versatility. They made a nice transition from Saint Sister’s folk-pop into something punchier and more powerful. Having never listened to Box Of Light before, I was pleasantly surprised.
After Box Of Light closed their set, the two people in front of me casually sipped their beers and chatted, whilst the people around me muttered, “Isn’t it time for Beverly to come on yet?” Then, as if they had heard, the pair in front of me took to the stage. It turned out, they were Beverly.
Don’t let Frankie Rose’s blonde hair and dress fool you, she’s a master on the electric guitar and a five-star head-banger. I was thoroughly impressed by how much Beverly danced around the stage, commanding their presence as though they were playing for a huge venue. That’s exactly what made them special – having travelled all the way from America to tour with their debut album, Beverly were happy to play for the modest crowd of The Louisiana and noted how grateful they were for the experience.
The Louisiana was the perfect, chilled venue for the bands that performed and I’m sure in ten years’ time their names will be on the wall next to Winehouse’s. It was a night of duos, of empowering women, and of brilliant music. If you ever get a chance to see any of these bands, I recommend you snap that opportunity up in a heartbeat.