LIVE REVIEW: Alessi’s Ark, Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, 16.04.2010

Much could be made of Alessi’s Ark at the start of their set. Firstly, it isn’t a band (not really). The lone figure of Alessi Laurent-Marke with her guitar takes centre stage, followed by her electric guitarist/double bassist Marcus. And that is it.

For a moment you are scared for this shy, seemingly fragile soul on stage. The spotlight is focused on her. But then she begins to sing.

It’s sounds too perfect, like it is a studio produced track in some ways. But it is real and lovely. The individuality of Alessi comes across with every word. Think Bjork’s accentuated singing styles, a bit of the Kate Nash’s tone and maybe even Tori Amos’ uniqueness, throw it altogether in a folk manner, shake well and pour.

Between songs Alessi says a few words, but the voice is quiet, retiring and definitely not what you expect. As she settles in she even cracks a few jokes, and only endears her more to the pretty mixed crowd.

The 30 minute set featured Alessi on a acoustic guitar, punctured and accentuated by Marcus’ electric guitar or the double bass later on in the set. There were a mixture of tracks like ‘The Dog’, ‘Hummingbird’ and some from her latest release “Soul Proprietor“. The vocals were strong and proud, yet the underlining tone was vulnerable and delicate, and to be honest refreshingly touching.

Overall, Alessi’s Ark sound is a striking mixture, and you can easily imagine yourself in a different place – blissfully happy in a picturesque landscape, during the summer, with the sun setting perfectly perhaps?

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Constantinos Kypridemos

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