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Gig Review: Faye Webster @ Thekla

An embodiment of introverted girlhood and the ruthless experience of being lovesick – Faye Webster invites us to bask in the comfort of understanding.

Faye Webster @ Thekla: Jake Paterson 

By Yazmin Sadik, Second Year English Literature

Playing on her I Know I’m Funny haha album cover, she emerged surrounded by primary colours whilst wearing her iconic blue suit - later explaining proudly, how her friend had made it for her. Back in Thekla after five years, Faye smugly recalled first boasting “Oh, I’ve played on a boat”, and with three more indie-folk albums under her belt, she seemed as relaxed on stage as her music - no doubt encouraged by her brother’s presence on the bass.

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A post shared by Hannah Jadagu (@hangrammm)

Introducing her Atlanta-based friend was Hannah Jagadu, who rendered lightly echoed vocals which paired perfectly with her airy indie-pop style. Her first time in the UK, Hannah asked what there was to do in Bristol, to which (after an understandable hesitant pause) a voice responded, “The suspension bridge!” Setting the casual tone for the night, Hannah moved on to her unreleased selection of songs, but not before initiating an impressive handshake with her drummer. The upbeat tracks started the night with a more light-hearted mood than what was to come – however, when focusing on the lyrics of her initial song ‘Sundown’, the shared themes of hopelessness between the two artists were evident: “When the day grows old / I’m not cut out for this.”

Faye Webster @ Thekla: Yazmin Sadik 

It was obvious from the first lazy murmur of a lap steal in Faye’s opening track ‘Better distractions’, that the audience were more than familiar with her music. Her conversational lyrics encouraged an intrinsic dialogue to occur across the stage; during ‘Jonny’, a pining song which reminisces on a past relationship, a girl beside me gutturally screamed her resonance with Faye’s line, “my dog is my best friend / And he doesn’t even know what my name is”. Despite the unabashed truthfulness of her lyrics, at times her introspective shyness was apparent; her iconic wolf cut often hung before her face, as if shading her from our intrusive gaze.

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A post shared by Faye Webster (@fayewebster)

As the set progressed - plucked mainly from her albums Atlanta Millionaires Club and I Know I’m Funny haha – a nostalgic cover of what Faye introduced as, her favourite Pokémon song that ‘plays when you get to the lake’, was performed. The rendition was made all the more enjoyable by the fact that she often plays the song as background music around the house. Her command over the audience when story-telling through music or conversation was startling when contrasting this animated rendition to the previous piece ‘Jonny’, with its soft violins wallowing against her melting voice.

Photo Credit: Jake Paterson 

Moving us into a stirring silence for ‘Jonny (Reprise)’, she transformed the stage into a theatre for her two-minute-long monologue about “the sorrows of love’s slow passing” - her sombre voice drooling the words and tense pauses of the love letter across the stage. No wonder in ‘Hurts Me Too’ Faye discloses how her mum is ‘tired of [her] sad songs’. As the reprise ebbed out to meet our silence, a voice from the audience called “fuck Jonny!” Faye laughed at the sudden disruption before recalling how a fan on the street, gesturing for her to roll down the car window, had once said the exact same thing. The story encouraged a slow chant to build against the infamous Jonny figure, who evidently symbolised more than just a person who deeply affected Faye in that room.

Listen to Hannah Jadagu and Faye Webster's music here:

Featured Image: Jake Paterson

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