If you follow me on Instagram (@oliverinstead), or even had a quick glimpse of my recent IG feed on the sidebar, you would probably remember that I am a proud owner of BANKS‘ debut album entitled Goddess (talk about appropriate album naming). Last night, I was very lucky to be able to watch the goddess herself perform at The Ritz, Manchester!!
A few months ago, I became aware of this gig purely by chance when I was flipping through a random magazine left on a table at my workplace… out of excitement, I actually ripped the page off!! Initially I was hesitant to let £25 part with my wallet because my current financial state doesn’t exactly allow this sort of luxury to indulge as much as I would’ve liked but as soon as I found out that Josef Salvat, who I previously reviewed (here) was supporting, I knew this was an opportunity not to be missed!!
It’d been some time since I last attended a gig, the last one was Sam Smith before he went all Stay With Me and international. I arrived at The Ritz with roughly 15 minutes to spare before the door opened and I joined the queue, which wasn’t that big but it was certainly expanding. It wasn’t long until I went through the entrance and grabbed myself a front row spot… I say front row but there was a really short Asian guy in front of me so I had no trouble seeing over him. *thumbs up*
Salvat opened the show with an incredible new track that I had never heard before. I don’t remember much of the song apart from the fact that he really got the crowd going at the first number, which was followed by pretty much his entire discography to date including another new song called Punch Line which from what I remember was the best song from him yet!! It started off slow and mellow and led to a massive, booming, almost tribal-like chorus that brought to mind any track from OneRepublic’s Native. It had lead single written all over it, which made me extremely excited for his debut.
I was glad to say I was as excited to see the supporting act as I was to see the headlining act in this instance because Salvat’s performances were absolutely captivating, especially when he started This Life tripped down to just his voice and the piano… even with the little loose mic stand mishap he was able to engage with every lyric. Most importantly, his outfit was like something straight out of my wardrobe. The pale collarless shirt, dark trousers, bare ankles and shiny patent (!!) shoes, he could easily have been styled by me!! 😀
The crowd quickly built up during the changeover and by the time BANKS took to the stage, the venue was already packed.Everyone was really getting into it, as soon as the minute-long Alibi intro kicked in, it’s fair to say that we lost it… 😀 She came on looking so hauntingly beautiful in head-to-toe black cape jacket with slit sleeves on a maxi dress and rather chunky heels.
The performances included most of the standard album tracklist minus a couple of the ballads… I was particularly upset that Someone New was left out but Change and Drowning were absolute fire!!
The crowd went wild at the punchy chorus!! There were sing-alongs, there were hands in the air – she just has such command and presence on stage.
BANKS closed the show with Begging For Thread, another fantastic crowd pleaser but as it was the last night of the Goddess UK tour, she returned to the stage for not one, but two encore numbers in which she covered The Motion by Drake (feat. Sampha) and ended the night on a high with the last of her own songs, This Is What It Feels Like.
The turnout was much larger than I expected as I didn’t think so many people would appreciate BANKS’ genre of music, which may well be true so I was happy to see people actually going to these shows and support less mainstream artists like BANKS and Salvat, who both proved to be great talents and brilliant performers.
To be completely honest, I thought the ticket cost was a bit of a cheat. I mean the main act wasn’t even playing for that long… perhaps I’m just bitter still about the fact that BANKS didn’t do some of my favourites but I wish she could’ve sung a couple more songs! Seriously though, the place itself isn’t really that well maintained considering the price they charge… especially the lavatory, which reeks of wet socks from miles away. No exaggerations!
However, even though I had to go on my own, I still thoroughly enjoyed myself and the show. What’s not to like about good music, eh? 😉