Ingrid Andress / Mabes - Courtyard Theatre Hoxton
A chance for a little post C2C catch up with Ingrid Andress, one of the artists that seems destined for great things in 2020 also gave a first glimpse of a home grown talent in the shape of Mabes/ Looking extremely dapper in her two piece ensemble, she took to the stage and opened with "Radio", by her own admission a little nervous at the the start, it had a touch of Lily Allen about in style of delivery which was slightly odd as it was not really a style she'd return to for the rest of the set.
It was the next few songs that really made her stand out as someone to watch out for, her single "Gone" written when only 16 was really something special and it was followed by "Keeping the Noise Down" which came with a lovely detailed explanation as to its origins and marked Mabes out as being a thoughtful observational singer songwriter of great potential.
Hailing from Billericay, her between song patter did have a decidedly Essex twang about it which surfaced in the next song "Bigger Picture". Essentially an apology to her parents for her teenage self, this was another considered song, with a great tune and delicately picked guitar, so absorbing was it, that i'd forgive the tortured kidspeak of the chorus which rhymed hits ya, bitch to ya & picture on consecutive lines. It was beautifully sung and completely held the audiences attention.
It was a set of tunes that immediately caught your attention, "America" had a fascinating back story which made for a great song. There was much to take from this set from the whistled chorus of "Sugar Rush" to the lullaby like "See You On The Other Side", and all received a great reception. A testimony to the success of her set was that a quick glance at the immediate people surrounding me all looking her up on Facebook
Definitely one to watch out for!
The Courtyard Theatre is a dark old room with black walls and ceilings and as the evening progressed it could easily have doubled as a sauna as the temperature soared to the point you could feel yourself physically melting. To add to the overall strange atmosphere. the dry ice machine at times created a thick pea souper of a fog and all this was happening against the traditional tunes that you play before an Americana gig, namely a selection of drum and bass,
As the lights went down, Ingrid's backing band came out in the shape of a drummer and a guitarist who took their positions to the far right of the stage, to all intents and purposes they may as well been on the moon as there was no-one looking in their direction once Ingrid appeared. Dressed extremely stylishly in a black two piece suit, she would become a magnet for attention the rest of the evening, from the moment she took the microphone from its stand and launched into "Bad Advice".
For "Both", she flitted between holding the mic in one hand while holding the microphone stand and then as the song developed she was bouncing up and down while delivering the power vocals required for the chorus.
Ingrid explained that her origins were as a songwriter and moved over to her piano to demonstrate a couple of songs that were covered by others. The first "Boys", a single for Charli XCX, was delightfully poppy while "About You" covered by Fletcher, saw Ingrid really pounding the keys in a version that almost had a Coldplay vibe about it at times.
With so little music actually officially available, the audience were always going to go wild whenever one did come along, the chorus of "We're Not Friends" giving them a chance to find full voice. That situation will be remedied early next year with the release of a debut album, and there were some glimpses of songs likely to be on it such as "Anything But Love", a piano based tune, that was sad and heartfelt but had a classic pop sounding chorus as she tried to capture that feeling after a break up. This was followed by "The Stranger", a big atmospheric ballad that seems destined to be one of the stand out songs.
At this point, she dragged a stool from the back of the stage ans sat as she and the audience joined in on a cover of Lewis Capaldi's "Someone You Loved". By now the temperature was positively tropical, and Ingrid disposed of her jacked to become even more attention grabbing than she was previously! The next tune was described as her "happiest", "Waste Of Lime" was possibly the most overtly country tune of the night with a classic country chorus that Ingrid helped sell with a myriad of expressions and gestures. There was so much to enjoy bout the show and Ingrid seems destined for bigger things when her new record comes out, "Life Of The Party" saw her power out the big lead vocals on the chorus.
There was jacked back on moment for her the appearance of her first ever love song " Seeing You For The First Time", a slow ballad, but it was soon of again for the closer of the main set "More Hearts Than Mine" with Ingrid visibly smiling at the audience singing out their hearts to her lyrics. There was a swift return for the encore "Lady Like" which was a truly bombastic way to close things out,