Belgrave Music Hall
Upon arriving at the Belgrave, I expected to witness a girl sing and play an acoustic guitar, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that Basia Bulat is a woman of many talents, switching between four equally weird electro-instruments during the set. This was Bulat’s first ever gig in Leeds, in fact her first UK tour; Bulat has more of a fan-base in her native Canada. With a hint of surprise, she continually expressed her gratitude that people turned up, given the apocalyptic weather. Although, Bulat’s tendency to undersell herself was massively counteracted by the mesmerising performance.
The stage was set up with three microphones centred to a keyboard covered in fairy lights, giving the venue a warm feel. The small pretty blonde woman came out to open the show with ‘The City With No Rivers’ on the keyboard, from her latest album Tall Tall Shadow. The audience fell silent as she layered her voice through the three mics to fill the room with her strong, captivating vocals which really set the relaxed atmosphere for the rest of the gig.
The highlight was ‘Promise Not To Think About Love’ with Bulat remarking about the mosh pit that broke out when she first played this song. Sadly there was no mosh pit to speak of, but it was instantly catchy with a handclap and vocal harmonies layered through two different mics in the background which drew you right into the song. Again, to my surprise, and as a touching moment in the set, Bulat did a completely acoustic performance of ‘It Can’t Be You’. The artist came and stood in the middle of the all-seated audience, stunned to be right in front of Bulat singing sans-microphone with a ukulele. Her voice soared and filled the rather large room with ease; the voice had a natural power which was completely unforced, yet you could tell Bulat enjoyed being personal with the audience.