Soak at The Pepper Canister Church – Review & Photos
A gig in the Pepper Canister is always going to be special. It’s an unforgettable little treasure that unlocked its doors to an eager crowd, snaking their way down the church steps and awaiting doors to open for SOAK.
Strolling out so very casually to the stage, Bridie only had to begin strumming a simple chord to find that heads snapped to attention. The soft echoey sounds luring you in for a set that would ooze in talent and originality. As the gorgeous sound of effortless guitar-picking fills the room for ‘Shuvels’, the quality and uniqueness of her voice also becomes a reality. It’s hauntingly beautiful yet there’s a hint of innocence too that soars into the pews and continues into ‘Blind’.
Being accustomed to a solo performance, she introduced a band for only their second time playing a show together. This arrangement works so well for ‘Blud’, and being one of her better known numbers they do it justice in a live setting. ‘B a noBody’ continues in this fashion, however at points Bridie appears to be over-powered by the band and it’s difficult to hear the full potential of her vocals come across. This will of course come with experience of playing with with a full band, and as their joint efforts bounce around the church walls the sound is exceptional regardless.
In a very nice gesture and hat-tip to the result in the marriage referendum, Bridie gave her congratulations before continuing her set with a backdrop of a very apt color explosion of flashing light sequences. ‘Reckless Behaviour’ is nicely paced and gets heads bopping along the rows. Although there is definitely potential for people to have a little dance around to her music, being the peaceful setting that it was it just wasn’t done. Everyone remained quiet and polite in their appreciation, but in a way that made the evening more special.
Finishing up with the beautiful ‘Sea Creatures’, her songwriting abilities are recognised as the crowd claps along with enthusiasm. On first listen it may seem like a heartfelt love song, but it is in fact a reference to bullying that’s encapsulated in a folk-pop bubble of goodness and piano chords that softly twinkle in the background.
Bridie is confident in her stage presence, and has the ability to carry an audience with humour and snippets of insight into how her songs came to be. At just nineteen, the Derry singer-songwriter already ticks all the boxes of a likeable performer. She can put on a show while also recognising the importance of letting her personality shine through. Having such skills will take her far, and as she continues to grow as an artist I envisage her latching onto the hearts of many as her music sweeps into their path. SOAK’s debut album, Before We Forgot How To Dream, is available now.
Review by Nicole Leggett