The exquisite and delicate English folk songwriter Bess Atwell is over half-way through her twenty-two-date UK tour in support of her debut album Already, Always. We caught her show at Heartbreakers venue in Southampton, a fitting name for her swooning, romantic music.
Bess Atwell’s performance was striking in its perfect, almost ethereal, vocal clarity. It truly sounded like a studio recording, not the 15th date of her UK tour. Its easy to make comparisons to Lana Del Rey, but here we have one of the most exciting young talents in English indie-folk.
The venue was pin-drop silent with a very attentive crowd, swaying or softly nodding in appreciation, captivated by Bess; apart from the occasional ‘I love you Bess’ between songs, with the smiling response, ‘I only ever get really lovely polite heckles’. She sang twelve songs in her set, from the new album, previously released EPs, as well as new songs.
Bess was accompanied on guitar and then keys by Chris Mathewson, who had already played in support for the show as solo multi-instrumentalist Growing Boi. Additional support was from indie folk artist Almahata.
Photos and words by Tony Palmer.