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Syron Headlines Neu’s Third ‘Hello 2013’ Show

When we first announced the bill for our third ‘Hello 2013’ night with the Old Blue Last, this line-up looked the most refined, with associations seemingly running through all four artists. But to another packed crowd, please/ prove themselves to be a diverse bunch, each with something altogether different to offer for the coming year.

Amid all the introductory chatter and pint-ordering, at first it’s difficult to decipher the very nature of Ellen Davies aka. /please/’s music. She’s travelled from Bristol to perform one of her first ever shows, but she handles the pressure remarkably well, particularly when she’s sporting a sound as intimate and unshowy as this. You yearn to lift yourself and the performer out of the venue - if only for a few minutes - just to hear this music in a more hushed environment. Simmering beneath the harsh, jagged beats and the sleepy guitars is something unintentionally beautiful. It’s a divine, deeply unconventional beginning to the evening.

The atmosphere becomes more hushed for second act Brolin, a sense of intrigue lining the walls as the masked individual steps onto the stage. For all his apparent mystique, in another life Brolin could be using his voice for an altogether different purpose. He doesn’t sound this soulful on record, and to actually see the bedroom-producer performing such a stripped-down set feels like a marked occasion. Closer ‘NYC’ retains the magic of its emergence some ten months back, and those preceding it give glimpses of an artist with plenty to unveil in 2013.

There’s a recurring theme by this point, as the rough-edged, bedroom recordings of /please/ give way to the near-polished soulfulness of Brolin, with the even more refined San Zhi preceding our popstar-in-the-making, Syron. Nigh-on defining the night with their ‘Ice Light’ track, San Zhi’s intimate recordings translate remarkably well to the stage. Again, something that you fail to hear on a stereo or headphones leaps out in the live environment. On this occasion it’s the sheer depth of the tracks. Bass levels are thick and heady, occasionally outpowering the vocals but for the most part only adding to the triumphalism of the show.

But headliner Syron is a completely different prospect. She’s tailor-made for giant crowds and outdoor arenas, and she’s fully aware of it. Treating the tiny stage like it’s a giant dancefloor, she begins by introducing a new single before giving us the night’s standout moment in 2012 single ‘Breaking’. The professionalism of Daisy Syron Russell is astonishing. If she was in a pack of thousands any hapless so-and-so could pick her out as a future star. And her nu-garage sound - which could so define the coming year - twists and turns throughout the set, adding dynamism and invention to her popstar sheen. “Beat this”, she may as well be saying, and it’s a remarkably assured end to the evening.

The final ‘Hello 2013’ show is on 30th January, with headliners JAWS playing alongside Crash & The ‘Coots, Deathbeams and Superfood.

Tags: Syron, News

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