Half Waif | Live Review & Photoset

27th September | Crofters Rights

Photos: Andrzej Zajac

It’s perhaps not something to which we necessarily give much thought or consideration: the way in which a venue offers a blank canvas to the artist(s) and audience inhabiting that space for that particular time. How the space is held and moulded in the hands of whoever is performing fluctuates immensely. These differences can come naturally, as well as through significant thought being given to how the space is filled. And so with this in mind, an intimate yet inviting atmosphere is set even before Half Waif takes to the stage. Ambient lighting, by way of fairy lights and spherical paper lamps, cover the front of her keyboard – carefully placed, with a hanging of fabric bearing the namesake of Half Waif’s most record, a lavender motif. With a considered simplicity, Nandi Rose Plunkett has crafted a personal and warm environment instantly befitting of her music.

As the swirling, pensive tones of ‘Silt’ unfurl, they spread through the room like a delicate, enthralling mist that captivates everyone in its midst. The meditative potency that comes across on the record is purveyed with an even greater depth with Plunkett’s pertinently-heartfelt delivery. Each nuanced melodic and rhythmic detail that forms Plunkett’s rich sonic tapestry is so carefully considered and played that the packed-out room hangs on her every sonic expression. The resonant, delayed beats that pulse through ‘Lilac House’ purvey a heady urgency, accompanying Plunkett’s beautifully rich and textured vocals, that present her poignant lyricism with crystalline enunciation.

Before playing ‘Turn Me Around,’ she introduces the track as being, “about the power of love to alter your perspective and change you for the better,” and in a way pinpoints this reflective, personal quality innate to Plunkett’s songs that alights on the capacity we have to constantly grow as individuals, expressing a contemplative awareness of this. There’s a soaring ethereality that permeates the entire evening and as Plunkett closes the set, she leaves a little of her sonic magic suspended in the air to carry us out into the night.