7:45pm to 10:30pm (Doors 7.00pm)
General Admission: £18/£22 (door) Under 16s: £14/£18 (door)
That Thea Gilmore’s latest album is as ethereal as it is thought-provoking, as bewitching as it is bold, will come as no surprise to her army of admirers. Since releasing her debut as a teenager nearly 20 years ago, the Oxfordshire-raised, Cheshire-based, the chart-topping singer and songwriter has gained global acclaim for making music not only of extraordinary beauty, but of rare honesty and insight.
What will surprise fans is how The Counterweight sounds. Fifteen albums in, Thea has all but abandoned her trusty acoustic guitar in favour of an iPad and a piano. The change forced her out of her comfort zone in to exploring new methods of composing as well as new ways of recording. While, sonically, The Counterweight marks a fresh start, its outward-looking themes – the shifting political landscape, our absorption in technology, America’s gun culture and the search for hope in times of trouble included – bear striking similarities to Thea’s 2003 breakthrough album Avalanche. So much so, in fact, that the singer considers The Counterweight a companion album to Avalanche, or more accurately, “its more mature older sister”.
Despite its hefty themes, The Counterweight is as catchy as it is current, delving in to disco and pure pop and boasting glorious strings, intriguing samples, shimmering soundscapes and pretty piano. Where it might have been mournful, it’s often airy and optimistic. Where it does delve in to darkness, it also glimpses light.
Gilmore has toured extensively throughout the North America and Europe, and has collaborated with the likes of Sting, Mike Scott, Martha Wainwright, Joan as Policewoman and Eliza Carthy. Her razor sharp lyrics, melodic flair and honey toned voice have been admired by wide ranging contemporaries from Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez, Richard Thompson, Neil Gaiman, David Baddeil and William Boyd.
“Gilmore is blazing her own path towards classic status as a songwriter” – The Guardian.
“Vituperative, intelligent and sharp as a tack..” – The Observer