Laura Doggett is a singer songwriter from Bath who, if you’re a fan of hit TV series Broadchurch, you may have heard before without really knowing it, Laura’s track ‘Old Faces’ was used in the advert for series 2 of the show. She recently had her new single ‘Into the Glass’ played by the legendary Annie Mac on Radio 1 and recently embarked on a tour with Years and Years who, in January 2015 received the prestigious BBC Sound of 2015 award.
Tonight saw Laura being supported by two acts, London based Ivy and Gold and Devon based beats aficionado Alice Jemima, yes folks, a triple bill on a Wednesday night, good job I got to bed at a decent hour on Tuesday!
We’d been invited along to have a chat with Laura Doggett after the show, more of this later, in the meantime, grab yourself a drink and sit back and I’ll tell you all about the evening….
Ivy and Gold are a two piece from London made up of Jamie Davies and Rachel Wilkinson who are fast making a name for themselves on the London scene. After checking out a couple of their tracks on the web, I was expecting big things and big things I got! They opened up with some BIG sound coming from Jamie’s keyboard, this literally made everyone stop what they were doing and filter into the main room to see what was going on.
Being a regular visitor to The Cavern where tonight’s gig was hosted, it’s refreshing to see a different take on music, so often, I am treated to guitar led indie/alt/rock produced by heavily tattooed, skinny jean wearing hipster wannabees who all seem to want to sound the same, tonight however, things were different.
Ivy and Gold produced some lush soundscapes, Rachel’s voice, with nods to Kate Bush and Florence Welch, effortlessly soared high above Jamie’s keys, swooping and diving to create a real sonic atmosphere. Their use of dark, soulful, heavy beats was divine, just the right amount required to move your body with the bass whilst the vocals literally lifted you to a higher plane. The standout track from their set for me was definitely ‘Smoke and Mirrors’, full of soulful vocals and a deep, hypnotic beat. If you’re a fan of laid back, lo-fi, dark, intense music, then go seek out Ivy and Gold.
Not Had Enough
Smoke & Mirrors
I last saw Alice Jemima in Totnes at a Kim Churchill show, she wasn’t playing, she was there on a strictly social visit having supported Kim in Exeter (at the Cavern) back in October 2014. I really enjoyed her set when she played last and this time she promised new material for the room to hear. She opened up with 'Take me Back' which showcased her gentle voice over lightly plucked strings. Her homemade beats (that would make a killer name for a record label…) were superb, she’s clearly put a lot more into these for her new tracks as they were way more intricate than before, multi layered, backing vocals and even elements of bass were all included.
Midway through her set, it was SO QUIET, you could hear a pin drop, which, for a venue like the Cavern was amazing! She ended a song and after rapturous applause commented on how well behaved the audience were, it was as if she had hypnotized everyone with her voice and they were awaiting their next command!
She played her sublime version of Blackstreet’s ‘No Diggety’ which I hope won her a few more fans and maybe they can assist in pushing the play count over the 2.5 million mark on Soundcloud. She announced that she had recently completed a live session with Radio Devon as part of their ‘Introducing’ show, if you tune in, you can still catch the session HERE
She played one of her newer tracks which was more upbeat than her older songs, full of great beats and keys that will have someone beating her door down for a remix very soon no doubt! Liquorice was probably my favourite track of the night, a heavenly blend of soothing vocals, great beats combined with a hint of sass that shed new light on her traditional ‘sweeter than candy’ look and sound. If you haven’t already checked out the aural pleasures of her music, do so by clicking the social media links below, you’ll be so glad you did, definitely one to watch out for during 2015!
Take Me Back
Under the Radar
Diamonds and Bones
No Diggety (Blackstreet cover)
So, onto the main act of the evening, as I said earlier, you may already have heard Laura’s dulcet tones if you watched the trailer for series 2 of Broadchurch as her track ‘Old Faces’ was featured, she told me in an interview we did after the show that she had been selected from literally hundreds of tracks and was honoured to have her song used for the advert, anyway, onto the show….
It looked like Laura had arrived ‘mob handed’ this evening, I saw a cello being brought out onto the stage that was already loaded with a keyboard, drum kit, guitar and bass, it looked like we were in for a treat tonight with Laura performing with her full band. She recently invested in a light box and after a few minutes, this was illuminated at the back of the stage, shedding light onto the drums in readiness for her performance. The chatter of the audience was soon broken by a haunting sound coming from the cello, Laura strode confidently onto the stage dressed in a long white dress, looking every bit the talented chanteuse that she is and launched into her first track ‘Phoenix’, her penetrating, deep, soulful voice, accompanied by electronic beats and keys dipped and soared the full range, displaying many emotions throughout.
She said that this was the first headline show that she had performed outside of London and was blown away at the reception that she had already received, I think this was clear as the room was packed on a Wednesday night, a sure fire way of seeing that the effect her music has on people is staggering. ‘End of the Road’ was a passion fuelled epic that saw her giving 100% ‘This is how it feels at the end of the road’, simply divine!
Her performance wasn’t without issue, she was using a pair of ‘in ear’ monitors which allowed her to hear every instrument without having to rely on chunky stage monitors, these came loose and was playing havoc with her flowing golden locks, a quick wardrobe alteration and we were back in business. No injuries were incurred, not like poor old ‘Madge’ at the Brits the other week, I guess it was about time she had a hip replaced, she did manage to squeeze an hour long ‘Jonathan Ross’ special out of it, you go girl, milk it for all it’s worth……(publicity stunt per chance?) anyway, enough talking about an aging Madonna, let’s get back to Laura!
‘Part Time Friend’ and ‘Full Moon Monday’ were delivered faultlessly, the cello was again used to great effect in the first and I recollect some amazing ‘tribal’ style beats during the latter, which really helped to shape and define the song. Laura thanked Annie Mac from Radio 1 for playing her new track ‘Into the Glass’, this is such a good track and deserves every play on national radio it receives, a hypnotic beat, smooth keys and Laura’s trademark commanding vocals.
Alice Jemima took to the stage alongside Laura to perform a spellbinding track that they had been working on, it’s called ‘Night Girl’, the contrast of their voices gelled so well, Alice Jemima’s 'tip toe' sounding gentle tones with Laura filling in over the choruses with her broader range, this was certainly a highlight of the whole night.
‘Old Faces’ was played towards the end of her set and judging by the reaction of the audience at the end, proved there were one or two Broadchurch fans out there! It was great to see Laura in such an intimate environment as the Cavern in Exeter, you can bet your bottom dollar that the next time she does the rounds, she will be requiring a bigger venue to allow more to attend, as they invariably will!
Laura is already a big star in our opinion and 2015 will be key to ensuring that she carries on shining brightly.
End of the Road
Part Time Friend
Full Moon Monday
Into the Glass
Night Girl (with Alice Jemima)
We had a chat with Laura after her set, you can read all about it HERE
Review by Steve Muscutt
Photography by Bruce Benson 241photography.co.uk