Candice Gordon at Rough Trade East
Dublin-born and Berlin-based Candice Gordon has been promoting the release of her second LP Before the Sunset Ends with a series of UK gigs. For the last night of her tour she played at Rough Trade East, the temple of indie music in trendy hipster East London. Rough Trade was an inevitable venue and, with so many top bands having played there in their early days, the audience’s level of expectation was particularly high.
Gordon arrived late on stage with her guitar, a drummer, a bass player, another guitarist and, as she called them, her two “off stage” horn players.
Beginning with I Saw a Demon, a track from her previous EP, Candice offered a powerful and engaging start to the show. Shy but charismatic, her deep vocals mixed with the strength of the guitar riffs to shift into the reality of a rock ‘n’ roll gig. Surfing between country blues, indie folk and gypsy vibes, Gordon showed the full palette of her abilities. Her voice never failed to impress – from high-pitched sounds to velvety, jazz-coiled notes.
The first tracks helped build her confidence. Even though it was obvious that Gordon is not yet fully trained in entertaining an audience, she still tried to play with the public who enjoyed seeing her effort to share something personal in this intimate venue.
Throughout the gig she kept the quality and level of noise at a peak. It is undeniable that the new album is more influenced by rockabilly and indie music. Nonetheless, on stage both new and old tracks have an engaging resonance. The audience travelled between the soundtrack of a spaghetti western and a French Nouvelle Vague movie, from the powerful and invigorating gypsy horns of I Saw a Demon to an avalanche of distorted guitars on Smoking like the Barrel of a Gun.
Whatever the style, Gordon and her musicians gave a fantastic performance. The cherry on the cake was surely her delicate yet strong ethereal voice, capable of overriding even the omnipresent sound of guitars.
The Rough Trade audience is famously discerning and tough to please, but Candice Gordon definitely met their expectations by the end of her set.
Photo: Paul C Reynolds
For further information and future events visit Candice Gordon’s website here.
Watch the video for Smoking Like the Barrel of a Gun here: