Ringing the doorbell is not your usual first port of call when heading to a gig in the heart of London’s Soho, however the intimate chapel venue at The House of St Barnabus required us to do just that, to get a sneak peek at the girl who is described to be on the cusp of her fiery ascent into the music world. Fresh from performing on Jool’s Holland, Laura Doggett treated a small yet select crowd to two unique shows on the same night, in the even more unique setting. Following the release of her second single “Moonshine” on November 10th, the singer songwriter has already featured as Radio 1’s BBC introducing artist racking up generous air time already with the three-and-a-half minute future hit.
An audience of no more than 50 gathered in the small candlelit chapel for the first of two performances that evening, seated facing the small alter that was to be center stage for Laura and her three piece band. Opening up the show with song ‘End of the Road’, the enchanting singer captivated onlookers with her first lines. Dressed in a gospel choir robe, and standing with a charming awkwardness at the forefront of the Chapel, Doggetts delicate appearance was immediately shattered when her breathtakingly powerful and surprisingly velvety alto-range began. Her presence was almost fittingly angelic, as her three piece band of strings, percussion and keys softly accompanied. The intimate venue had a limit of no more than 90 decibels, Laura announced, as the quieter ambience was created.
Second track of the evening “End Of The Glass” began with more of a kick, as the repetitive bass motif set in, shortly followed by what is already promising to be trademark haunting vocals. The singer seemingly started to gain confidence on the small make-shift stage as her ethereal and emotional lyrics were met with breathtaking melodies and several awkward performance tics and gestures that only added to the singers charm.
“This next song is called Part Time Friend, and I’m not naming any names, but the person knows who they are” Laura announced as she went into third song of the evening. Accompanied by looping claps the singer bellowed “In Times of trouble where do you go?”. The next song, Laura reveals, was written when she first moved to London, in a time when she was feeling ‘alone and everything felt numb’ and she encountered an elderly woman with dementia. ‘Lizard lady’ was the result, and the emotive lyrics and simple piano melody felt breathtakingly stripped back and honest.
Undoubtable highlight of the night was Lauras debut track ‘Phoneix’ , all ethereal vocals, sounds of a reminiscent gothic period and no shortage of echoing chimes, with the acoustics being put to full use in the pretty special venue. The singer/songwriter then took to her own instrument on keys, and followed with a cover of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Video Games’, with ‘Heaven is a place on earth’ sampled in for good measure. Still seated, Laura then babbled that the next song was to be the first song she ever wrote, whilst sitting alone in her bedroom, listening to Tracy Chapmans Fast Car for the first time, and stroking her cat. ‘Sometimes’ was soft, easy and relatable with a certain whimsical charm that Laura was starting to become at ease with.
Penultimate track ‘Old Faces’ addressed the themes of small town mentality and the people that you see everyday, before finally treating the mesmorised audience to last song of the night, Laura’s current single ‘Moonshine’. As the first gig of the evening drew to a close and the singer disappeared to prepare for her second performance, it was easy to see why she has been getting so much well deserved attention. Laura Doggett has an innate ability to make you feel like you’re listening to a beautiful, but relatable conversation with a friend in her songwriting ability and a true overwhelming emotion through her vocals. An act truly one to go and enjoy in the flesh. We predict big things for 2015.