Arlo Parks at Hammersmith Apollo
Two-time Grammy nominated Arlo Parks lit up the iconic Hammersmith Apollo last night with a sold-out evening to remember. Aged just 23, the British singer-songwriter has taken the music industry by storm ever since her first successful release of Cola back in 2018. Known for her unique style of bedroom pop with silky-soft vocals, her songs are rich in emotion and tell easily relatable tales of love and heartbreak.
The evening’s set was made up of a beautiful blue hue. When the lights dimmed and a hush fell over the audience, the show began with a video of Parks’s face playing on the stage backdrop. The singer made a casual entrance wearing a baggy T-shirt and cargo trousers, grinning in response to the excited screams when she was spotted by the crowd.
She opened the set with Bruiseless, an easy introduction into the singer’s poetical side. Parks’s moved around with a quiet confidence, interacting with those near the front and even stepping off the stage to perform right next to them. Despite her gentle and even shy demeanour when speaking, she gave off an unmatched ease that seemed to increase when she sang and fell into the rhythm of each track.
Parks later performs her biggest hit, Eugene, a track giving us an insight into the raw struggle of unrequited love for a friend. The song serves as an iconic queer anthem, revealing a vulnerable set of emotions that she translates into lyrics and a melody so well.
Halfway through the set, the singer stopped to reminisce about her time living locally to Hammersmith, riding past the venue on her bike and revelling at the size and status of it. She held back tears as she expressed her gratitude and disbelief at having her name across the venue written next to the words “sold out”, something she never dreamed would come to fruition.
Parks evokes unparalleled sentiment and passion in her tracks, an element of music that is so important to capture in order to be a successful artist that fans can relate to. She delivered no less than this at the packed venue, and left fans itching for more after the final song Devotion, a nod to soft 90s rock, was performed.
The singer returned to the stage for the encore to perform the delicately intimate Softly. Centring on the terrifying fragility of a relationship slowly breaking down, the evening came to an end on a note of raw vulnerability and relatability expertly blended into one.
Photos: Guifre de Peray
For further information and future events visit Arlo Parks’s website here.
Watch the video for the single here: