Winter season is now here and Helsinki is covered in more snow than has been seen in years in December. Because of this, it was slightly more challenging to venture towards Kuudes Linja on the newly created layer of pressed-snow-turning-into-ice, but it was well worth a try, given the occasion: the first Finnish show of English talent A.A. WILLIAMS, supported by KARIN PARK.
While the venue was still rather empty at first, a properly sized crowd began to gather as the showtime for the opening band approached. The setup was a bit unusual, since all of the instrumentation – synths, organ, and mellotron – had been laid down in front of the stage, so that KARIN PARK could perform in the middle of the audience. As she mentioned herself later during the gig, it feels much better to be close to the audience after all the distancing and isolation of recent years.
This gave the atmosphere an extra touch of intimacy, with the Swedish artist welcoming the audience into her musical world. This tour is the perfect occasion for her to showcase the new “Private Collection” record, composed mainly of re-recorded songs taken from Karin’s prolific career, and at least for this night, we thought it worked out quite nicely.
It didn’t take long before the main act made its entrance to the stage. Here again, the layout was rather peculiar: the drums on the right side, the keyboards on the left – facing the merchandise desk at the other end of the entryway next to the stage – and in the back stood out the big letter “A.”
So A.A. WILLIAMS began the show on a high note with “Hollow Heart” from sophomore album “As The Moon Rests,” released only 2 months ago (and receiving a lot of well-deserved praise from critics and fans alike), followed by “Evaporate” and “Murmurs” from the same record.
Much of the set was obviously focused on this latest effort, and soon the hall was filled with the emotionally charged melodies created by the London-based artist. At the same time, we could see the good alchemy between the members on stage (the bass player Thomas Williams being the singer/guitarist’s husband, at the drums Wayne Proctor, and multi-instrumentalist Matthew De Burgh Daly to complete the quartet). Some technical glitches during the show didn’t hamper much of the performance, while the band drove the audience right into their soundscape, capturing them from the beginning to the end (which came with “Melt” from the debut, “Forever Blue”).
A.A. Williams herself was very kind and thankful to the fans and, towards the end of the show, went all the way to introduce their merch lady, who was at her first day on the job during this tour.
The music and the atmosphere created throughout the evening made for a really pleasant few hours. Sadly, the audience was made to leave the premises not too long after the end of the show, but the way home was certainly filled with that typically good vibe of having witnessed the kind of live show that will likely be stuck in your head for days to come.