Ainslie Wills had the Howler bandroom captivated from start to finish
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Ainslie Wills had the Howler bandroom captivated from start to finish

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The superb singer/songwriter performed a lovely mixture of sensational ballads. Songs like Future Nostalgia and Holding Breath were heavenly pairings of divine chord structures and haunting vocals, with revealing lyrics to boot. Her slowly-filing in audience was frozen solid by her beautiful music. Many of these songs were prefaced with charming and relatable back stories that added a sincere depth to her already exposed performance.

Many of the studio recordings of Merpire’s have a more layered sound, but the live renditions benefitted from the simple and bare way in which they were performed. Someday was another delightful tune that sparkled and glimmered while the audience fixated all of their attention onto listening to and appreciating the beauty of the music.

Merpire was a magnificent performer that somehow appeared larger than life despite performing everything all by herself which is an admirable achievement in itself.

As Merpire wrapped up her stirring set, the crowd jostled for a spot to be as close as possible to the delightful Ainslie Wills. As Wills, her guitarist and her drummer prepared to start, eager fans jumped for joy to see the prolific singer in the flesh.

Wills is a performer who’s in complete control of her voice and most importantly, a performer who’s in complete control of her audience. Fans jumped for joy to tunes like Drive and Never Know What To Say but stood completely still in appreciation of the slower Constellations. The trio was absolutely tight, producing cacophonous soundscapes one minute and stark, bare harmonies the next.

Switching from piano to guitar, the set had a great diversity to it. Wills covered her vast discography, most notably her recent single Running Second, which bounced along to an irresistible dreambeat, complimented by propelling palm-muted guitar. Wills’ stunning voice floated above the punchy instrumentals the audience was bouncing along to. The night reached sensory overload as Merpire joined the band onstage. The melding of these two angelic voices was an absolute treat, the two singers blending spectacularly.

Ainslie Wills’potential and talent is immeasurable, but judging by the mesmeric effect she had on her audience, she’s a performer to look out for.

Highlight: Ainslie and Merpiresinging together.

Lowlight: The low numbers during Merpire’s set was upsetting. Support the supports.

Crowd favourite: The crowd loved Ainslie’s new single Running Second, and some already knew all the lyrics.