There was a lot of love in The Haunt when Gabrielle took to the stage, and not just because of Valentine’s Day. The British singer (now a Brighton local – but more on that later) was a powerful figure on stage, her stunning voice filling the room, bathing a full to the brim venue with her soothing melodies.
It was beautiful to behold – and the crowd were ever grateful. Gabrielle also comes across as a genuine delight, pausing between tracks to talk to her fans.
For those that don’t know the music of Gabrielle Aplin – it’s the audio equivalent of the softest of blankets keeping you warm and cosy on the coldest of days. It’s snuggling up by the fire, with a puppy looking up at you adoringly. Her songs are filled with emotion and care.
The show built up to the perfect ending, finishing with Miss You – the recent (well, end of 2016) electropop song that would have our visual metaphor throwing off the blanket to dance around the room with that eager puppy jumping beside us. Alas though it was the following encore that really put the icing on the cake.
After calls of ‘Encore’ echoed through The Haunt, Gabrielle returned to the stage, first performing her cover of ‘The Power of Love’ (You might remember it from that John Lewis advert), which seemed like an extra special song to choose on this day of romantic commercialisation. The best however was saved til last (and that’s saying something).
“I love playing this song in places I live, and I don’t know if you know this, but I live in Brighton now.” With this sentence you could feel the excitement wash across the crowd as her fans realised her final, final song would be ‘Home’.
The folksy hit struck a chord, couples rested their heads on their partner as they looked to the stage, the chorus sending us all to that warm feeling inside ourselves where everything seems perfect.
From all of us in Brighton I say this: welcome home Gabrielle.
Words: Stewart Hicks
Photography: Gili Dailes