Natalie Holmes @ Belgrave 09/10

Leeds College of Music graduate Natalie Holmes stopped off at Belgrave on the penultimate day of her UK tour, clearly excited to be playing in the city that encouraged her musical pursuit.

Having released an EP each year she studied here, she had a wealth of songs to choose from and wasn’t intimidated about delivering a wide array of them. On this occasion, she played some back catalogue gems, right from ‘The Simplest Things EP’ through to her latest release ‘Over & Out EP’. Assisted by a drummer and guitarist backing, her live sound was immediately more enticing than on record, bringing an abundance of life to Belgrave.

Think Gabrielle Aplin meets Marika Hackman; what strikes you about Natalie is the moment this girl opens her mouth you are captured by her voice. She flawlessly hits every note, shaping the melodies to perfection. The melismatic lines of ‘Birds Eye View’ were breath taking – not many singers’ head voices are as overwhelmingly powerful as hers, and the charm that she carries with it is unmistakable.

She took us all on a heart-felt journey with her songs, but I think it’s safe to say​ a highlight for us all was her cover Frank Ocean’s ‘Thinking About You’. She captured the groove and installed her faultless vocals, finishing off with a drooling guitar solo from guitarist Sam.

After a final night in London, Natalie is heading on the road again, this time supporting Sam Brookes on his UK tour. Unfortunately not stopping off in Leeds, but make sure you watch out for Natalie to get a taste of her live splendour.

Hannah Taylor

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