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Aldous Harding debuted new LP, covered Gerry Rafferty @ Rough Trade (review, video)

Aldous Harding at Rough Trade 4/8/2019

“I’m not as confident as I once was,” Aldous Harding told the crowd at Rough Trade on Monday night. “But as my mum says, I’m not above practice.” Aldous was playing songs from her anticipated new album Designer for the first time, with a new band to boot. “I feel like I’m starting from the beginning,” she also said earlier in the evening, but it was a graceful, mesmerizing debut.

Aldous played almost the entirety of Designer front-to-back, minus opening song “Fixture Picture,” and her band included some of the people who played on the record, including bassist H. Hawkline and drummer Gwion Llewelyn (plus guitarist Harry Bohay and keyboardist Mali Llywelyn Lewis). It’s an impressive set of songs that I liked immediately, starting with lightly groovy title track which Aldous sang, maraca in hand, while scanning the audience — the lights were aimed at the crowd and bright the whole show, it was clear she wanted to see us. There was a clear connection between her and the audience, who were pin-drop quiet and hung on every note.

In addition to great first single “The Barrel,” the Designer songs that made the strongest impression on me were “Zoo Eyes,” where her voice goes from a husky lows to elfin highs within a verse, and the sad, delicate “Treasure” that movingly had all the band members singing at one point. The most affecting song, though, was “Heaven is Empty,” which was mostly just Aldous and her guitar and was a real destroyer.

She finished her main set with “Blend” from 2017’s Party (the only older song of the night), but then came back for an encore, opening with a flat-out amazing, ethereal cover of Gerry Rafferty’s classic “Right Down the Line.”  She then played a brand new song, “Old Peel,” that is not on Designer. For that, Aldous was using a Rough Trade mug she swiped from the store as a cowbell (“I will put it back!”) while Gwion Llewelyn was using a maraca as a drumstick for extra shake appeal. The maraca shattered on him at the song’s climax, sending a giant cloud of dust into the air. You couldn’t have planned a better finish for a perfect evening.

You can watch video of much of Aldous’ Rough Trade show, and check out the setlist, below.

Aldous’ tour hits DC tonight, Philadelphia on Wednesday (4/10) and Kingston, NY on Thursday 94/11) with further stops in Montreal, Chicago and more. Go see her. All tour dates are listed below.

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SETLIST: Aldous Harding @ Rough Trade 4/8/2019
Designer
Zoo Eyes
Treasure
The Barrel
Damn
Weight Of The Planets
Heaven Is Empty
Pilot
Blend


Right Down The Line (Gerry Rafferty)
Old Peel

ALDOUS HARDING – 2019 TOUR DATES
TUE 9 APRIL – DC9 NightclubWashington, DC, US
WED 10 APRIL – Johnny Brenda’sPhiladelphia, PA, US
THU 11 APRIL – BSPKingston, NY, US
FRI 12 APRIL – La Sala RosaMontreal, QC, Canada
SUN 14 APRIL – The Empty BottleChicago, IL, US
MON 15 APRIL – Turf ClubSt. Paul, MN, US
THU 18 APRIL – The Tractor TavernSeattle, WA, US
FRI 19 APRIL – Polaris HallPortland, OR, US
MON 22 APRIL – Rickshaw StopSan Francisco, CA, US
WED 24 APRIL – ZebulonLos Angeles, CA, US
SUN 12 MAY – PrivatclubBerlin, Germany
TUE 14 MAY – Botanique – RotondeBrussels, Belgium
WED 15 MAY – Concorde 2Brighton, UK
THU 16 MAY – J2, Cambridge JunctionCambridge, UK
FRI 17 MAY – Brudenell Social ClubLeeds, UK
SAT 18 MAY – Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA)Glasgow, UK
SUN 19 MAY – The Cluny 2Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
TUE 21 MAY – Manchester GorillaManchester, UK
WED 22 MAY – EartH (Hackney Arts Centre)London, UK
THU 23 MAY – Trinity CentreBristol, UK
SAT 25 MAY – La MaroquinerieParis, France
SUN 26 MAY – Maison Folie WazemmesLille, France
TUE 28 MAY – Stereolux – Salle MicroNantes, France
WED 29 MAY – Rock School BarbeyBordeaux, France
WED 29 MAY – SUN 2 JUNE – Primavera Sound Festival 2019Barcelona, Spain
THU 30 MAY – SAT 1 JUNE – This Is Not A Love Song 2019Nîmes, France
FRI 31 MAY – SUN 2 JUNE – Best Kept Secret Festival 2019Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands
THU 6 JUNE – SAT 8 JUNE – NOS Primavera Sound 2019Porto, Portugal
SUN 7 JULY – Cactusfestival 2019Bruges, Belgium
FRI 12 JULY – Iveagh GardensDublin, Ireland
SAT 13 JULY – Barclaycard British Summer Time 2019London, UK
THU 25 JULY – SUN 28 JULY – Port Eliot Festival 2019St Germans, UK
FRI 2 AUGUST – SUN 4 AUGUST – OFF Festival 2019Katowice, Poland
THU 15 AUGUST – SUN 18 AUGUST – Green Man Festival 2019Brecon Beacons, UK
MON 11 NOVEMBER – AB FlexBrussels, Belgium
TUE 12 NOVEMBER – La CigaleParis, France
WED 13 NOVEMBER – La LaiterieStrasbourg, France
FRI 15 NOVEMBER – Locomotiv ClubBologna, Italy
SAT 16 NOVEMBER – Bogen FZürich, Switzerland
MON 18 NOVEMBER – Feierwerk / KranhalleMunich, Germany
TUE 19 NOVEMBER – ArtheaterCologne, Germany
WED 20 NOVEMBER – Heimathafen NeuköllnBerlin, Germany
FRI 22 NOVEMBER – CosmopoliteOslo, Norway
SAT 23 NOVEMBER – FaschingStockholm, Sweden
TUE 26 NOVEMBER – KnustHamburg, Germany
FRI 29 NOVEMBER – The Institute 2Birmingham, UK
SAT 30 NOVEMBER – Manchester Academy 2Manchester, UK
SUN 1 DECEMBER – SummerhallEdinburgh, UK
WED 4 DECEMBER – Arts Club LiverpoolLiverpool, UK
THU 5 DECEMBER – RoundhouseLondon, UK
FRI 6 DECEMBER – The 1865Southampton, UK
SAT 7 DECEMBER – O2 Academy BristolBristol, UK

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