Enmore Theatre, August 13
British singer-songwriter Anaïs Marinho, 22, releases music underneath the title “Arlo Parks”, and if that seems like an idyllic spot good for picnics with pals in the summertime, then her music is the light, buoyant soundtrack within the background, content material enjoying second fiddle to the dialog.
Not that there’s something improper with that: music has at all times been about suiting totally different conditions – thumping techno for if you wish to annoy the neighbours, jazz for if you wish to seem cultured, steel for if you wish to punch a gap in a wall – and creating a calming vibe for the low-key occasions definitely has its place.
The issue is when a musical temper is rigidly sustained to the purpose of inertia, which is the case for a lot of this present: the ocean of heads could calmly bob to at least one breezy music after the opposite, however which means no massive waves are made, no boats are rocked.
The music itself, performed competently sufficient by a backing band of 4 musicians, veers somewhat too carefully to ’80s simple listening, so easy and inoffensive that even a reasonably tame bass solo throughout Cola elicits a disproportionate variety of cheers from the gang for sounding like “rocking out” compared to every little thing else.
Parks herself appears completely pretty, relaxed and smiling and type, with a soothing, lovely voice that calms nerves slightly than frays them. However coupled with music that’s too even-keeled for its personal good, the outcomes as a rule are likely to veer towards prosaic slightly than thrilling.
It’s telling that the one second of the evening that comes near inducing a goosebump or two comes throughout Angel’s Music when the band largely take a again seat, Parks singing with only a guitar for accompaniment and proving her voice is much extra highly effective and affecting minus the funk-lite backing.
The overwhelming majority of the hyped crowd, nonetheless, seems to be loving each second regardless, and through punchier, poppier songs like Caroline, Harm and Too Good, it’s somewhat simpler to purchase into the zeal and see how Parks bagged herself the Mercury Prize for final yr’s debut album, Collapsed In Sunbeams.
Even with solely an incrementally larger quantity of vigour and power than what has come earlier than, remaining music Softly does a superb job of getting the gang leaping, however does a good higher one in all summing up tonight with its title: a gig as light as a summer season breeze that you may admire within the second, however largely neglect about as soon as it’s over.