Photo: Chris Cooper
Walking into the room, there was a distinct change. Dotted about were various members of Bristol’s music elite; Suicide was playing, it felt electric, a happening. As if you had side stepped into somewhere in New York’s Bowery adjunct to CBGB’s.
Shortly after 10.15, looking like a Barbarella dream wrapped in scarlet sequins; Emily Breeze walked through the crowd, stepped onto the stage, strapped on a white Gretsch with no fanfare or hello, wonderfully seducing you as she led us into an intoxicating set.
It’s always hard for both artist and crowd to fully connect when so many of the songs have only been heard so far by a select few. Around the mid way point the crowd’s interest seemed to wax and wane; the front rows were clearly in rapture and Emily toasted us from a can of lager as she introduced ‘Anna Nichol’. It seemed to capture the tragic absurd of the subject’s life while curled around irresistible hooks.
Around Breeze the small stage was full and a large screen backdrop showing deliciously psyche, Russ Myer-esquse clips, which only heightened the sense that we were a long way from Bedminster. As each song was welcomed more warmly than the last Emily seemed to revel in her newly appointed role. In Candy Darling all eyes were always on her, now she gave us no excuse to look anywhere else. Latest single ‘Ego Death’ was delivered as a modern, melting reimagination of ‘Hong Kong Garden’. The set had variation away from the lazy Velvet’s comparisons, some riding on a relentless motorik groove, while others simply sparkled like the sequins in the spotlight.
There’s a promise of an album soon, one that is surely going to delight, captivate and devour in equal measures if tonight’s show was anything to go by. We’ve been waiting to see where Emily Breeze was going to take us next and it’s been worth the wait, even with some elements of the crowd adopting the ‘impress me then’ pose. Tonight was memorable with a healthy dose of ‘fuck you’. Next time, I dare you not to miss Emily Breeze, as she won’t remain one of our secrets for very much longer.