Bishop Briggs at Heaven
Bishop Briggs’s high pony flails and splays as she bounces around the stage, a bundle of spindly energy clad in black streetwear. If her brilliant white trainers are really covering the ground though, it’s nothing compared to the range of her voice, which spans breathy whispers through soaring ballad vocals into powerful blues-y rasps and finally punches as she wraps up with break-out track River – ordering the crowd to “stand and deliver”. She does so above the thudding drums and growling riffs that create her sound – more intense and danceable live than from the studio.
Although the singer only has one full album, the debut Church of Scars, to pick from, there is depth and range to the set too. She begins with the opening lines of The Way I Do in a searching a capella, which echoes off the basement walls. The drums soon crash in, though, and the dark-pop diva Briggs is back. Heartfelt ballad Water adds real emotional depth and a degree of calm. Baby is much more carefree, sexy as well as sensual and just fun. There’s time for a couple of new tracks too, including the stunning Lion’s Den.
Technically a home-coming gig for Briggs, who was born in Barking – “As you can tell from my accent,” she grins – the LA-based artist savours every moment, not actually leaving this London stage for her encore because she feels so at home there. Her disbelief at her rise to fame is disarming, but that rise is undeniable. She’s shocked at the idea the crowd might know the name of a track even as they chant back the chorus to Wild Horses.
Bishop Briggs is high-energy pop with range and heart. Charming and effortlessly cool, she’s undoubtedly a rising star of pop. She’ll see bigger stages and brighter lights, but if she keeps her disarming honesty and remarkable voice those shows will feel just as intimate and engaging as this one does.
Photo: Andy Witchger
For further information and future events visit Bishop Briggs’s website here.
Watch the video for the River here: