Gabrielle Aplin at Oran Mor, 27/9/15

Gabrielle Aplin is a pure delight.

Opener ‘Light Up the Dark’, from this year’s album of the same name, has one of Aplin’s biggest choruses, and the excellent ‘Panic Cord’ inspires the first mass sing-along of the evening.

It’s when the music strips down and Aplin’s finger-picking guitar playing takes centre stage on ‘Don’t Break Your Heart On Me’ that the gig goes from a good one to a great one, and a certain sincerity is found that elevates the rest of the set.

The following ‘Coming Home’ is the folkiest number in an evening of varying styles, with the epic balladry of ‘Salvation’ recalling A Fine Frenzy while ‘Heavy Heart’ has an atmosphere most often found in modern day RnB, a la Banks – all carried and connected by Aplin’s heartfelt and April-showers-drenched vocal delivery.

‘Please Don’t Say You Love Me’ is the show stealer with the crowd screaming along to every word, and the main set-closer ‘Slip Away’ ends with a band jam session before an intimate encore of ‘The House We Never Built’ and ‘Home.’

Aplin is at her best when she wears her heart on her sleeve – without the raw and vulnerable ‘Don’t Break Your Heart On Me’ the set would have had a questionable amount of heart, lost in amongst the easily accessible tunes, but from that point on every word feels real, and Aplin herself feels more at ease.

Gabrielle Aplin2

When there is not a discernable difference between studio recordings and live performances, you have to look more closely to see what the point of a live show is, and in this instance it is those moments where Aplin really sinks into and feels her songs.

The delicate ‘Salvation’ will stay with her for the rest of her career as it is to date her best connection between herself and the audience – a shared instance of love that isn’t quite as celebratory as the title would have you believe.

As the a capella finale of ‘Home’ rings out with beautiful harmonies, Aplin can consider this one a success, shown by the increasing applause with each passing tune – a well-deserved success.

More Photos

Words: Scott Wilson
Photos: Stewart Fullerton


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