The best first concert, right in my home city.
Cate Canning began her first headline tour of the year with a bang; lights blaring almost as strong as the bass throughout her vibrant set. The intimate venue, The Wardrobe in city centre Leeds, started as it meant to go on with Taylor Swift flooding the dancefloor and stage as the crowd filed in, singing, as they would be all night. Fans swapped bracelets and hometowns as the singer pulled people from across the north together through her music.
Elle Coves, the perfect support act for the occasion, came out to an eager crowd, who only grew to love her throughout her set. With mostly acoustic tracks, Coves took the crowd on a journey through her dating life with intense relatability and guided us through screaming an unreleased earworm that has stuck around ever since. With a soft edge of rock, Coves music conveys a feminine anger, and a cathartic release in shared experience.
With a full-bodied cover of ‘White Flag’ by Dido, the crowd bid a warm farewell to Elle Coves, appropriately buzzed for the rest of the gig. The singer / songwriter stuck around to meet any existing fans, myself included and was both charming and deeply grateful to be a part of Cate’s tour, swapping stories and taking photos with a smile that only comes after a brilliant performance.
Before half an hour had passed, I was back on the dancefloor again, front and centre, as the woman herself made her way on stage with her well-rehearsed band. Twirling in a deep blue maxi dress, spaghetti straps being readjusted as necessary, the rising pop icon played hit after hit, guitar led acoustic tracks, pop perfection, and deep cut emotional songs about being a woman in your early twenties. That’s what drew the room in, closer to each other, to the performers. The unity in being the same, feeling the same, and sharing the fear of overreacting; being seen as too much, as women are always taught to be afraid of. The rhythmic oasis was, for a few hours on one cold Tuesday, a vibrant hideaway: a permission slip to be angry, be loud, and be bold. Cate Canning brought her bright joy and care to that crowd, pushing against curfew to meet as many of her fans as possible, sharing her stories, and carrying others with her as she set off to Dublin, for her next gig.
The electric energy of that night has crept its way into so much of my life, my writing, my music choices, my photos; each pulling that glowing memory out of my subconscious, reminding me of the intricate lives each person present lives, and the small part the singers got to play in it. Etching the importance of sharing your life into my work and mind, hoping that your joy can bring others the same.
Cate Canning and Elle Coves brought an enthralling optimism to the crowded room, with brilliant music, and a stage filling presence, both creating a night to remember.