Cloves – 11th December 2018 – Islington Assembly Hall, London
Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)
I first saw Cloves (aka Kaity Dunstan) on a whim back in February 2017 after hearing her track Everybody’s Son back in 2015. I just happened to be in the right city at the right time. There was a buzz that night and those feelings came flooding back as the lights went down in Islington Assembly Hall. The crowd murmured in anticipation as the band of three played what felt like an orchestral introduction before Cloves appears, then she is on stage and as soon as she sings the opening to Wasted Time, my stomach is in knots, never mind how Cloves herself is feeling. From the get-go the night is raw and emotional. To me this is how most gigs should feel as she glides from one end of the stage to the other and at times grabbing the mic stand as she sways.
The music then takes a more upbeat feel with Bringing The House Down as the lights get brighter but still fit the mood of what Cloves’ music is about. That is Cloves down to a T! The lights compliment the music and it gets under your skin! This is why Cloves rates high on my radar; her music is simple yet complex and full of fire and passion. It is REAL! It is LIFE!
I had three albums down as ‘albums of the year’. That was up until April, then Cloves debut came in October here in the UK and it may have claimed the number one spot. Seeing her debut album One Big Nothing come to life on stage really gets into every bit of your body. We go from the stripped back songs to the big thumping sounds and her vocals are effortless and fragile. You cannot help but to get lost in the moment – or these 50 minutes or so we get of her.
The added bonus of this night though is that on top of her album tracks we get a brilliant cover of Mazzy Star’s, Fade Into You, and the way she performs it, she could probably claim it for herself as knowing the original or not, she makes it her own. She claimed the night as soon as she stepped on stage then onto the crowd singing back the ending to Better Now. And it is her personality on that stage that you wish those that were just a bit too loud in the room could have been quieter as her songs and her performance definitely deserved the attention. Luckily the acoustics of Islington Assembly were perfect that most of the time it did not bother you.
Cloves was made for this stage and many are starting to get it. Those in the room already know it and the night is ours, that we wanted more after she and her band run off stage after the title track from the album. Luckily, Cloves hears us and returns with her guitarist and she asks, “is it alright if we do Everybody’s Son?” The room could not have asked for anything better and we are feeling it as the room then feels still. And I am exhausted from the emotional journey I have just been on. I am left breathless and my heart is in a million beautiful pieces coming back together and beating in my chest.
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