After a big mix up the night before in Manchester, I find myself seated in the pews of Leeds’ Holy Trinity Church awaiting my first ever Alessi’s Ark show. The reverence of the space compresses the audience’s speech to a mousey whisper and as she prepares onstage Alessi looks equally nervous.
I don’t see there’s any reason to be however; as she smiles “we’ll be as quick as possible” you can almost hear people’s knees going weak for the nineteen year old Londoner.
The show is opened with newbie “Witch”, a haunting solo that lulls the whole church into an awed silence. Magic is a theme that runs throughout Alessi’s music and as the song comes to an end, it’s quite clear she’s already cast a spell over her audience at this early stage.
Some might say that Alessi’s work is a contrived effort at your run of the mill “Country rock”, but it’s clearly so much more than that, something shown in the sincerity of Alessi and her Ark’s musicianship. She makes her live performances unique to each audience and breathlessly tells us that she had to travel to London and back today, an extraordinary feat as it’s only 4 o’clock in the afternoon!
Personal favourite of the set is the classic “Woman”. From the first listen, to her performance at Live at Leeds festival, it has to be one of the cleverest, well crafted songs ever written. It’s also perfect for the Church and the shimmering weather outside.
Finale, “The Asteroids Collide” brings the set to a sweltering peak of melodies and vocals that reverberates around the space and leaves all shocked to the core. As a hesitant applause ripples its way across the room, it feels like no one wants Alessi’s spell to be broken. Although, knowing how deeply one can fall under Alessi’s magic powers, I don’t think it ever will be.
Words: Mary Machin