Aldous Harding’s Brighton Show Enraptures
“Twenty minutes into [New Zealander] Aldous Harding’s set, after a spellbinding version of Treasure, from her 2019 breakthrough album Designer, has provoked a particularly vociferous response from the crowd, she speaks her first words to the audience. It feels oddly like a warning. ‘I am friendly and open,’ she says. ‘But we do have to do things my way.’” Guardian music critic Alexis Petridis reviews her recent Brighton Dome show.
“As warnings go, it feels a little after the fact: you could have worked out Harding is intent on doing things her way pretty much from the moment she walked on stage,” Petridis writes.
“You could find all this enrapturing, discomfiting or a little too mannered and self-consciously weird for its own good: tonight’s audience – pin-drop attentive at all times – fall into the first category. The really weird thing about Harding is that, for all the performative strangeness, funny voices and inexplicable lyrics, what lies at the centre of what she does is remarkably straightforward and prosaic.”
Harding next performs two shows at London’s Barbican Centre on 28 and 29 April.
Original article by Alexis Petridis, The Guardian, April 17, 2023.
Photo by Joseph Snell.