I had the pleasure of seeing Birdy earlier this year when she illuminated the Roundhouse in London. She was poised, perfected, gracious, and charismatic. As I settled down to see her once again, only this time at Hammersmith Apollo, I expected much of the same.
The opening of the evening was exactly that as she opened with ‘Shadow’. With the intro played on pan flute it was beautifully sung and I was ready for another evening of bliss.
Unfortunately, however, the rest of the evening could not have been farther from the Birdy that I know and have experienced. The stage lighting was soon directed straight into the stalls, making it hard to see the long-haired songstress, and the music was played so loud that she could barely be heard either. The crowd, therefore, seemed unengaged and could be heard audibly chatting during certain numbers.
I feel that much of these are elements beyond the control of the artist, however Birdy also is painfully absent in any form of communication with the crowd, simply playing song after song with no break.
But then, thankfully, just in the nick of time, I’m wowed by ‘Silhouette’ which is played as a mash up with ‘Running Up That Hill’ by the timeless Kate Bush. The first broken chord of ‘Skinny Love’ then silences the babbling audience and puts Birdy back in control. The crowds sing along and I’m transported back to the Roundhouse. The main set is then finished with crowd pleaser ‘Wings’.
I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed by this evening. But that being said, I know that it’s not the norm to expect from Birdy, and I’d still jump to to see her time and time again.