Gabrielle Aplin Comes To Exeter University
by Jack Reid
Gabrielle Aplin has been making bolder and bolder strides after her cover of The Power of Love thrust her onto the national stage. Radio 1 plays, YouTube pre-roll adverts, a heavily promoting nationwide tour - things have been getting busier for the little acoustic songstress. I remember the days when her main outlet was her MySpace page, with bedroom recordings of You Me At Six providing the soundtrack. Later, her YouTube channel: Gaberrz.
Today, her YouTube channel bears the same URL. Her stage manner displays the same unconscious patter that she showed a couple of years ago at a little pub venue in Birmingham. However, this isn’t the same Gabrielle Aplin. With new arrangements of songs from her first album, she seemed to have a new confidence, and an invigorated performance style. Those thoughtless anecdotes and inside jokes made public belie the skillset she possesses.
Aplin’s new single Salvation was delivered particularly well, with Gabrielle’s charismatic band all filling in the arrangment fantastically, and all importantly framing her voice, which is still incredible live. More surprising was the arrival of a cover of Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball quite late on in the set, which was pulled off with more musical talent than Miley ever exhibited.
Gabrielle’s support acts were very much within her style. Two Devon songstresses took to the stage before the headliner, both with their own brand of folk acoustica. Polly Money profited very much from a cutesy style, a high sweet voice and innocuous songwriting. India Borne had a little more substance, taking vocal cues from the likes of Joni Mitchell. Her set was slightly monotonous up until her drummer arrived on stage however, and I was left feeling that her voice may suit some other style of delivery far better.
Overall, the night was great. The support acts provided enough variety within their niche to give some interest. Gabrielle Aplin herself performed incredibly, and actually made me quite excited for the sophomore album, which until this point I’ve been rather apathetic about.