Alice Russell review - LIVE at Thekla, Bristol

Alice Russell

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Alice Russell show at Thekla in Bristol, England.

What a great excuse for a road trip - to travel from Oxford, on a mission to see this up and coming British Soul singer, to a city that I hadn't yet been to, but had heard so much about - with its vibrant music scene and rich historical heritage. For some reason, quite a few acts have been skipping Oxford while on tour in the UK, which is why these excursions have become necessary.

We got to Bristol quite early in the day, so we had plenty of time to spare. We wandered around town, and with the weather being unpredictable - going from sunny, windy to rain at any moment, we had to be a bit creative for our daytime entertainment. So what do we do? Well, first we thought food might be a good way to start, so for lunch we ended up at Start the Bus. A funky bar - obviously set up for nighttime entertainment, with interesting drawings on the walls, seemingly a student hangout with okay food.

It might have been impressive to say that later, we went into the round, mirrored planetarium, then found some very interesting museums and learned as much as we could about the city while we were there...but rather than do that, we decided to James Bond it, and ended up at the cinema instead. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon though - we had the whole place to ourselves and I finally got to watch Quantum Of Solace. Oh, and to hear the Jack White, Alicia Keys duet on the big screen.

After the movie, we wandered around the Christmas market, toyed with the idea of going on the ferris wheel, and thought about how great a setting that would make for a fight scene in a Bond film. Then we walked down by the harbour to look for Thekla, the infamous club on a boat. After 'phoning a friend' for directions, we turned around and eventually found it. Cool place. We went in, and ordered a couple beers in plastic cups, and sat outside on the deck, looking forward to the upcoming show.

We finished our drinks and then went downstairs into the club area. This was the first time I had been to a club on a boat, and it didn't disappoint. What a great idea. We sat down along the side of the room, but as the room slowly started filling up with people, eventually packing the place, we decided to go upstairs to the balcony, which was the right decision, because the view of the stage from up there was superb. There were a lot of Alice Russell fans down below in front of the stage anxiously awaiting her arrival, and I knew that if I was down there amongst it, I wouldn't be able to see anything!

The crowd was a mix of all ages, but mostly appeared to be students. When the band, all dressed in white, and then Alice walked on stage, the crowd applauded and hollered with excitement. She looked great in a black dress with a shiny gold short sleeve and leopard-like print tights. The band was funky and once Alice started belting it out the audience seemed to be spellbound, as many danced along and kept their eyes glued to the stage.

Alice has a very strong, soulful voice, she seems to genuinely enjoy what she's doing, and is a professional no doubt. Her engagement with the audience is top notch and I wouldn't be surprised if I see her on Later with Jools Holland one day. I'm not quite sure, though, why she's being compared to the likes of Duffy, Amy Winehouse and Adele - she doesn't sound anything like them, not that any of them sound alike, either. It will be interesting to see how things go for her here and overseas, but if the crowd at Thekla is any indication, she's sure to have a promising future.

Alice Russell has recently released her second studio album, 'Pot of Gold'.

Alice Russell on

Alice Russell

Alice Russell Official Website

By: Jenny May

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About Jenny May

Jenny May is the founder of Band Weblogs. Based in Oxford, England (originally from New England), Band Weblogs was created in 2005. With a passion for music, Jenny May has performed with bands in the US and the UK, her music has appeared in films, she was a vocal coach for the Yamaha Rock School and has worked on music projects with musicians such as Jon Fishman (Phish), Fyfe Dangerfield (Guillemots) and Cisco Adler (Shwayze). Jenny is currently writing music commentary and reviews for Band Weblogs and writing, recording and performing music with songwriter and musician Dave Tommo.
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