Daughter’s first headline show in the second city, much like their debut album, was a long time coming, but similarly worth the wait.
Main support comes from Bear’s Den, who tick all the folk boxes with a sound that flits between the delicate folk of Daughter’s early EPs and the rousing harmonies of Fleet Foxes. Their short set is well-received and nicely scene-setting.
Bathed in red, Daugher – the trio of Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella – soon enter in the unassuming manner that typifies their performance. They begin Shallows without a word, and the crowd follows suit. Not many sell-out crowds are this pin-drop quiet; attentively soaking up every fragile sound. And the sporadic singalongs – particularly for Landfill and Youth – are almost hushed and respectful, so as not to disturb what’s going on onstage.
Every sound to come from the stage is equally intricate and considered; every string is plucked with care, every cymbol hit with the right pressure, every intonation of Elena’s voice is affecting. Even when things get loud – when Igor uses a bow to draw some haunting sounds from his guitar on Love and Still – the utmost care is still taken.
Like the titles in their 13-song set suggest (Smother, Human), they don’t shy away from big, melancholy subjects. And a close listen to their lyrics may leave you concerned for singer-songwriter Elena, but tonight she beams with joy, admitting they are overwhelmed to be back playing their own sell-out gig having supported twice in the Institute before.
She even cracks up during Amsterdam after changing the words to Birmingham, and again during Winter, apologising profusely for each, as well as apologising for not ironing her top. It’s a joy to see them come alive onstage throughout, matching their mesmerising craft with genuine chemistry.
With a clearly dedicated fan base and a top 20 album now under their belt, the future is bright for this young band and they’re clearly as excited about it as anyone. Just don’t expect their music to reflect that any time soon.