“Personal, honest and unpretentious” — solo artist Bryde at Omeara

Indie rock artist Bryde wrapped up the last night of her UK tour with a captivating performance at Omeara in London Bridge.

Bryde performed songs by her debut EP Like An Island, a mixture of introspection, female empowerment and at times unapologetic rage.

Nestled inside a Victorian railway arch and combining a Regency aesthetic with futuristic blue lighting and theatrical fog, the venue provided the perfect backdrop for a very intimate performance.

The opening act, Pip Hall, warmed up the audience with her clear smooth vocals, acoustic guitar and captivatingly sad melodies.

By the time Bryde came on stage, the room was completely packed, with an audience that was so diverse in terms of age and backgrounds that it is very hard to imagine what her typical fan would look like.

From the opening notes of the melancholic Wouldn’t That Make You Feel Good?, it became apparent that Bryde’s music is made to be enjoyed live.

Sometimes the personal touch and quietness of more lyrical, introspective artists can be lost in a live performance, but this was absolutely not the case with Bryde.

Her vocal control was truly impressive, serving her equally well in in the quiet, silky tones of the mournful Wait as in the louder, rockier Flesh, Blood and Love.

Bryde’s sound has been compared to both PJ Harvey and Patti Smith, and that comparison is definitely not unjustified.

Between songs, Bryde was self-effacing, cracking jokes and sharing amusing anecdotes from her tour, like having to kick her RV door down in Cardiff because it had been painted shut, or almost getting caught up in a fight in a Travelodge car park.

But as soon as she sang into her microphone, the same audience that was companionably laughing at her jokes was absolutely enraptured by her performance, either standing still completely transfixed or raising their arms in praise depending on the song tempo.

The sound was unexpectedly heavier on certain rock numbers than in the album, with Bryde strumming along on the electric guitar, her ferocious growl and lyrics about toxic relationships in Less and Help Yourself almost reminiscent of early Alanis Morissette.

Towards the end, before launching into the album standout To Be Brave, Bryde informed the audience she had no intention to pretend to leave and come back for an encore.

“We’ll just play some songs and leave,” she said.

It was a particularly apt way to end a very personal, honest and unpretentious performance.

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