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Review: Alice Phoebe Lou @ Trinity

A masterclass from two artists at the top of their game.

By Jake Paterson, Music Editor

What Loving and Alice Phoebe Lou created at Trinity was a home. I mean that in the sense that there was freedom for improvisation, dropping pretence and embracing comfort and honesty, having open conversations with each other and the crowd, and performing from the heart and not the head. It was the warmest and joy-filled experience I’ve had this side of summer.

Alice Phoebe Lou is a Berlin-based singer songwriter and Loving are a band from the United States. They’ve toured together on and off since 2019 establishing a real where I end and you begin friendship, sharing band members and being open with each other. They both loop around, in the broadest sense, tenderness, and they instantly had the crowd on side from the moment ‘go’. Alice has a new record out, ‘Shelter’, and Loving debuted a handful of new songs with a new record on the way.

Coming in a verse early to their first song, Loving’s lead singer noted how they ‘start off with an error to obscure perfection’, which was totally apt for the rest of the night. Their slightly wonky lo-fi folk community amassed on stage were in near-perfect harmony. Members switched instruments between tracks, they took turns to lead vocals, and hypnotised the crowd with cascading and enveloping tracks that could very easily be looped forever. Songs seem to spark from a sudden natural inflection that the band fall into and mutate around, an ecosystem of sound reacting to each other. Take home and listen to their second record If I Am Only My Thoughts as soon as you can.

Loving @ Trinity | Jake Paterson

After a perfectly sweet set Alice joined many of the members to begin her own. Wearing a jumper with Dutch flowers sewn onto it, and taking it off to show her ‘comfort t shirt’ later on, she was evidently leaning into being closest to her true self on stage. Pretences of the ‘artist’ well and truly shed away. Noting that she was unwell as the end of a long and winding tour was coming to a close, she nonetheless pulled us in tight, and the crowd held her back: ‘I was worried before the show but I feel held,’ she said.

Opening with the trio ‘Angel’, ‘Touch’, and ‘Dusk’, she captivated us with her voice and charm, becoming conversational and intimate within moments. Talent shimmered through every moment, illuminated wonderfully by her band. A moment of real note was the solo set in the middle of the show. For ‘My Girl’, performed solo at the piano, she explained that the reason for her nervousness and hardship that day was because of a court ruling against a man going his way. In tears after the first verse, the emotion was tender and honest, yet she persevered and closed out the song to tremendous applause. 

There were countless other moments of awe. ‘Shine’ could have looped for eternity, and ‘Lover’ swooned effortlessly. The audience exchanged back in deep admiration and singing back with grace. They even gave Alice a present, as it was her birthday. Perhaps the most wholesome affair Trinity has seen this year.

Alice Phoebe Lou @ Trinity | Jake Paterson

Dusting us with magic in the last two hook-filled tracks ‘Witches’ and ‘Dirty Mouth’, Alice and Loving were utterly delightful and will infect you with humanity upon a first listen.

Featured Image: Jake Paterson

Have you listened to Alice Phoebe Lou?