Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 06/11/2012 | Ingrid Michaelson – Ruby Lounge, Manchester

06/11/2012 | Ingrid Michaelson – Ruby Lounge, Manchester

Catherine May


As she walks to the centre of the small stage, Ingrid Michaelson tells the audience that they smell. Not one to mince her words, she explains that she hopes the night will be sweaty and rocking in an ‘acoustically singer songwritery’ kind of way. At her request – and somewhat aided by the dingy-chic windowless basement venue – we begin to sweat more.

Opening with Palm of your Hand the audience were immediately charmed by the trio of female harmonies coming from Michaelson and her talented band of Allie Moss and Bess Rogers.  Soldier keeps us entranced before her rendition of Parachute (Yes, that of Cheryl Cole fame – Michaelson co-wrote it) allows us to see what could have been had the Girls Aloud singer’s version been sang acoustically. Or nicely.

Reminiscing about her love of holiday songs, Michaelson says she started watching Christmas films in August this year. Men of Holidays is the first seasonal delight we are treated to with Winter Song following later in the set. There’s something about Michaelson’s live performances that allows different aspects of the song to shine through. Whilst Winter Song stands strongly with Moss and Rogers offering a different take on Sara Bareilles’ parts, it’s with The Way I Am that Michaelson really offers something different and incredible.

There was a time when she refused to play her biggest hit, but has since falling in love and has returned to performing the song but with a changed composition. The result is a complete deconstruction of the song from a famed US Old Navy advert that brings a rawer, emotional edge to it. The crowd appreciate this simplistic style and when the three ladies perform an unplugged rendition of Bon Iver’s Skinny Love we all remain silently stunned apart from a couple of unwelcome gentlemen towards the back of the room who seem to think Michaelson gigs are a great place to catch up with one another.

With Be Ok and You And I are saved for an encore with the latter descending into a good ol’ audience singalong with excellent support act Gavin James joining the trio as they share a microphone offering alternate lines at one point. It doesn’t end smelly, or desperately sweaty, but it ends in a fun way and that’s exactly how I’d describe a live Ingrid Michaelson performance: fun.