7th September | Café Kino
As summer started to settle and the evenings became ever crisper, frequenters of Stokes Croft had swapped crop tops for cardigans, and cans for cups of coffee. Venturing down into the basement of Café Kino, the candle-lit room filled with the aroma of incense set the tone for an intimate evening.
Beginning the night was solo performer, Josie Blakelock, the audience sat on rows of rickety chairs as she took to the platform. Her material largely reflected on the journey passion can take you on, through the sorrows of unrequited love towards the frustration of feeling love in the first place. Blakelock’s modest nature paired with attentive tracks made for a delightful watch, as she welcomed the crowd into her most intimate thoughts. She pleasingly disclosed that she is working on new material. Her soulful set intrigued, as she is a musician that doesn’t quite realise her stunning ability.
Next came the singer-songwriter Jemima Coulter. As she commenced to a now completely-filled room, onlookers sat cross-legged as she pattered on her guitar. In a stripped-back setting, she dipped into folky twangs of warming vocals whilst she painted pictures of the world with a evoking elegance. Coulter bridged the gap between mellow and impassioned performance and made it appear so seemingly effortless.
As the basement transformed into a hubbub of chit-chat, it was apparent that the anticipation of Oliver Wilde’s set was high. Having not performed for a few months, the opportunity to see a treasured musician in a devoted setting felt rather moving. Accompanied by his acoustic accomplice, Lexi Jennings on keyboard, they began with dreamy harmonies.
“It’s quite a contrast going from two brilliant singers to this”, Wilde proclaimed to the room. He debuted new material, such as ‘Duvet Day’, fresh pieces amongst much-loved tracks. The stripped-back format allowed his talent to flourish, and his songwriting to take the forefront.
Not only did the set triumphantly highlight the purity of his songwriting, but Wilde excelled in delivering charming anecdotes in a humble manner. From Oliver and Lexi unwittingly headlining tribute nights in Birmingham to the tales of his brother’s life in LA, the joyful atmosphere made the evening of entertainment more than just an appreciation of the music.
With a fifteen-minute call until curfew, it was clear the laughter could have continued well into the night. Lexi speedily read through poetry. A surprise addition (even unknown to Oliver) ensued as songwriter, Nicholas Stevenson joined the duo onstage.
Bristol hosts numerous gigs that showcase and celebrate songwriters, as the scene is undoubtedly brimming with talent. That said, Oliver Wilde managed to curate an evening that felt unique, an evening beyond music that encompassed friendship and laughter in a truly heart-warming way.