Anna Burch – The Hope & Ruin, Brighton – 3rd September 2018

Photo by Dan Whitehouse

As festival season draws to a close, it’s a good job there’s still a wealth of great artists to enjoy in order to soften the post-festival blues. Detroit-based indie-pop singer Anna Burch has played at several festivals herself this summer, including End Of The Road, Port Eliot and Deer Shed, and that’s just a few from her UK dates. She’s had a busy year with plenty still to come, stopping at The Hope & Ruin on this Monday, following her appearance at EOTR.

Burch has been touring in support of her solo debut album, Quit The Curse, which follows her previous work with Frontier Ruckus and Failed Flowers. Along with Burch, there was support from LosFeliz and The Golden Dregs.

Starting proceedings, The Golden Dregs took to the stage, for a monotone but powerful performance that was equally dark and enticing. TGD is the project of Benjamin Woods, inspired by the sound of 70s Americana and jam bands. Woods stood looking focussed and effortlessly cool, rocking a smart/casual combination of plain T-shirt and trousers. The set was a great start to the night, with Woods quickly filling the room and getting the crowd warmed up for what was to come.

Following a promising opener, LosFeliz took to the stage. LosFeliz is the name behind Lucy Powell’s musical ventures; a Brighton artist which the community can sure be proud of. Seeming a little nervous initially, Powell vanished any doubt with her tremendous vocals. Stood in a glimmering dotted shirt, Powell led a triumphant set, which was soulful, impactful and honest. As the performance progressed, so did her presence on stage and she’s definitely an artist to watch.

After the enjoyable support sets it was time for Anna Burch to take to the stage, to a packed room of eager listeners. Upon first sight, Burch was initially unrecognisable due to her new hair (or lack of it), dressed casually and keeping all focus on her music. Burch was charming and humorous with the crowd, bringing a bigger atmosphere to the room than previous sets, due to the slightly heavier, but still soothing feel.

While her recordings are enjoyable, Burch perfects her work within a live environment, sounding better in person. Throughout the set there was a good mixture of pace across the tracks performed, showing Burch at times vulnerable, humorous and honest. Of the shows I have had the pleasure to witness recently, Burch has stood out as an equally interesting vocalist and songwriter.

This show consisted of three impressive and unique artists, each contributing to what was a great evening of music. While Burch stole the show and definitely felt like the main act, LosFeliz was pretty close behind her. Powell definitely deserves more recognition, but her musical career is sure to progress positively in turn with her confidence. While Burch has played many venues over the summer, The Hope & Ruin was well suited for this type of gig, allowing the focus to be solely on the music rather than the bells and whistles that can sometimes take away from it.

Dan Whitehouse