July 14, 2024

Basia Bulat @ Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds – 13/2/14


The spongy, velvet couches and tea lights at the Belgrave Music Hall possessed an introspective charm akin to the vocal pull of Canadian-born folk artist, Basia Bulat. An eclectic display of instruments from a keyboard to an autoharp in hand, Bulat’s devastatingly beautiful melodic lines and closeness with her audience yielded the continuity of this concert.

Like many of her female contemporaries within this folk, singer-songwriter idiom (Julia Stone and The Staves most notably), Bulat manages to avoid the saccharine while retaining a wonderfully understated femininity. Far from sentimental, the little additions of fairy lights and hair ribbons seemed in-keeping with the music, so were happily embraced.

Basia’s first song, Wires summed her up nicely. Those looking for songs of selfexamination rather than grand declaration should look no further. Heart of My Own showcased the fidelity of the folk instrument through a contemporary love song, whereas Don’t Mind If It Rains was a lovely number about strength through vulnerability.

Confirmed by her statement, ‘technology is tricky’, Bulat illustrated that self-sufficiency is no terrible thing after playing the wrong chords, mid-attempt in fixing a loop pedal. Bulat rendered technology obsolete, however, when she walked into the audience and sang It Can’t Be You; a performance that turned the heads of comfortable couch-goers with its poignant, natural resonance.

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