Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 11/04/2013 | Sarah Blasko – Barbican, London

11/04/2013 | Sarah Blasko – Barbican, London

Catherine May


It was from complete darkness that support act Lady Lamb the Beekeeper’s voice was first introduced into the audience. With no visuals to rely on, we became entranced by the powerful vocals that carried us through the opening track. Throughout her set Aly Spaltro delivered stunning solo performances with only the occasional appearance of her guitar to accompany her voice. It was a really great opening to what would be an incredible night of live music.

Sarah Blasko’s set came in two halves. First she worked her way through some of her earlier works with songs such as All I Want and We Won’t Run clearly striking a chord with the loyal audience packing out the venue. As she took off her familiar white gloves that she’d donned for Sleeper Awake (so we could follow her hands) she introduced us to the second part of the show where she would play her way through every track on her new release.

As Sarah’s voice shone throughout the newer songs, there was a notable contrast between her performance and Lady Lamb the Beekeeper’s. While the latter had let her vocals carry her set, Sarah’s music was enhanced with her band and a magnificent nine piece string orchestra.  On the recording of I Awake Sarah’s voice is sometimes joined by a Bulgarian voice choir and tonight Sarah apologises for their absence instead playing them into the room which still manages to add another layer to the performance.

When it came to be time for the encore of the album’s final two tracks, it was the solo piano performance of An Oyster, A Pearl which truly reminded us of how powerful Sarah’s voice can be on its own. The delicate song was performed with such raw emotion and when the night ended with the orchestra and band rejoining her for ‘a song about death’, Not Yet, I get the feeling the room wasn’t ready for the set to end. Not yet, anyway.