For her first headline show in the UK, Molly Parden said she was unsure if anyone would turn up on a cold Tuesday evening. That’s almost laughable when you think about the show now — there were plenty in attendance at The Joiners, Southampton, and all listened attentively and quietly to her uniquely fragile and captivating vocals and her very accomplished guitar playing. Perhaps the crowd was a little too quiet; Molly admitted she had to get used to the English culture of polite clapping, following on immediately from a few shows she’d played in Texas with a roaring response after every comment.
Molly had nine songs on her setlist, but played plenty more — she started early saying she was ready and just wanted to get going. She even asked the crowd if they had any requests, and she was asked to play her cover of “Why Worry” by Dire Straits, and then promptly fell over herself when the crowd informed her that Mark Knopfler actually lives close to the venue.
Getting into the set, Molly played “Kitchen Table” saying this was “one of the saddest songs she had ever written”, among others from her recent EP Rosemary, alongside some old favourites, some favourite covers, and some brand new songs. One of her new songs, which she was recently in the studio to record, is currently called “Night Swimming,” but she said she was unsure about the title. Someone in the crowd responded “well, it was a good enough title for REM”, only for Molly to laughably say, “perhaps people will find my song when searching for that then”.
Molly ended the show with her song “These Are the Times.” She said there are lots of collaborations and co-writings expected in Nashville, but she doesn’t like that kind of time pressure to write songs. Instead, she likes to imagine if she were to have co-written with Chet Baker, this is what she would have come up with. It was a lovely way to end the show.
Support came from London-based singer Milly Thrimias, and four-piece local all-star line up intriguingly named Udinese, to which they shared “apparently we’re called Udinese, yeah, it’s a really stupid name, next time you see us we’ll have a proper name”.
Molly Parden is currently on tour in the UK, with her last show in this run on 8th February in London
Photos and words by Tony Palmer. See also an interview with Molly immediately before the show, on the website.