There’s a complete beauty in the room tonight; candle-lit tables face forward attentively as local folk outfit Boat to Row’s main man Michael King plays a solo set of the band’s intricate material. It’s a beautiful serenity which fills the room as he plays and demonstrates a poignant talent for poetry and songsmanship and an inherent ability to craft delicate works of art. Unfortunately, the spell is broken by Jessica Pratt’s tour support, Belgian singer songwriter Ignatz who plays what feels like several hours of drowning vocals recalling wandering through a desert and never really getting anywhere accompanied by a guitar which sounds in about as much pain as the audience. Communicating not a solitary word of explanation in between, it’s a performance as beige as his fleece and a thoroughly misjudged affair. Luckily, Jessica Pratt salvages the situation. She’s super tiny as she takes to the stage to sit, but she makes an arresting presence. Playing through songs from her self-titled debut album, she’s thoroughly hypnotic, her mournful tones reminiscent of early Joni Mitchell but with a tranquil consistency to them. Playing her debut Birmingham show, the San Francisco singer captivates the crowd and brings a real warmth to a cold night in Kings Heath. Despite the enforced dip in the middle, it’s another wonderful orchestration by indie alt promoters, This is Tmrw.
Find out about all of This is Tmrw’s upcoming shows via their website.