Anna Calvi @ Islington Assembly Hall 8th October 2013

Islington Assembly Hall was hosting something extremely amazing and this being a headline set by Anna Calvi. Having sold out Wilton’s Music Hall, I knew that this would have been a gig that I would of liked to have been at. Purchasing a ticket for this was no problem and it came as no surprise that it was another sell out. This gig fell on the week sophomore album One Breath was released. Not having listened to this album prior may have been a wrong move. But judging from how amazing Eliza was I had faith that I would enjoy the new material that was showcased.

Taking to the stage at 9.30pm Calvi launched into something from the début album and this being Suzanne & I. The song itself sounded a touch operatic but I think that falls down to the fact how powerful Anna’s vocals were. Straight after were a host of tunes from the new album. Well 4 actually. First there was there was the first song to be lifted from One Breath and this being Eliza. Anna Calvi breezed through this at a fast pace aided by a strong vocal performance. This was both simple and sweet. It also had a tinge of rock to it. Next was the hypnotic and upbeat Suddenly which I really adored. Sing To Me was mellowing and slightly haunting at the same time. Whilst Cry showcased Calvi’s powerhouse vocals. It was then onto Blackout. Now I like this song purely because it is belted out. Anna puts every ounce of energy into this epic track. After the applause it was then onto I’ll Be Your Man. This song started off with a guitar solo. The song was both powerful but had it soft moments. I actually found it to be slightly haunting. Following on was 3 more tunes from One Breath. It started with Piece By Piece then going straight into Carry Me Over then ending with Tristan. Piece By Piece was delivered perfectly and it is actually a song that grows on you the more times you hear it live. “I will forget you piece by piece” Anna informed the audience during this track. Carry Me Over was mainly a 5 minute instrumental which showcased Anna’s impressive guitar skills plus you had the xylophone which lightened things. Tristan was impressive it actually was my favourite new song of the evening. It was very pacey and the lyrics were contagious as well. The Devil was ever so haunting. This blended Anna’s love of Classical and Flamenco. Desire was an uptempo powersong which Calvi put everything into making it sound incredible. Love Won’t Be Leaving followed on. This eerie tune was simply epic and Calvi completely nailed it. The lyrics were truly amazing and they infused to the melody perfectly.“Thank you so much for coming” Calvi then said before kicking off the encore with the final new song of the evening and this being Bleed Into Me. Yes this was an amazing song but it just wasn’t for me. Bleed Into Me was delivered at a slow pace and it didn’t hook me compared to the other new material which was showcased. Now Jezebel is originally a Edith Piaf song and Calvi put her own stamp of originality on the song. She was flawless when came to hitting the high notes and the song itself was delivered powerfully. Jezebel ended what had been a truly stunning night.

SET LIST

Suzanne & I
Eliza
Suddenly
Sing To Me
Cry
Blackout
I’ll Be Your Man
Piece By Piece
Carry Me Over
Tristan
The Devil
Desire
Love Won’t Be Leaving

ENCORE

Bleed Into Me
Jezebel

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