Powerful, precise and yet at the same time fragile, Aldous Harding’s mesmerising performance had the audience hanging on her every word.

Veering from a trance-like state one moment to scanning the room with a piercing stare that seemed to be honing in on individual audience members, she didn’t give much away, but the music spoke for itself.

Swell Does The Skull from the new album Party was the opener, which saw Aldous Harding walk out alone and pick up her guitar with no further introduction.

With the audience having to lean in close to hear the words, she commanded an unusually silent room.

Variously, she was joined by the keyboard/synth player and then additionally the bassist, for the more multi-layered songs such as Imagining My Man and Party, which saw her 
vocals take on an otherworldly tone for the chorus. 

These songs contrasted powerfully with those where the band left her alone on stage. 

With no in-between song banter, the focus was purely on the music and with Living The Classics and The World Is Looking For You Harding appeared to lay bare her soul and showed off some deft guitar finger-picking.

The set consisted mostly of songs from the latest album Party, though tracks from her 2014 self-titled debut made an appearance.

There was one notable omission from the set list, Horizon, which it seemed like Harding might be saving for the encore, which of course the audience called for in due course.

However in the event, rather than a rousing finale, we were treated to an outing of stripped back new song Pilot, which took Harding away from the guitar and on to the keyboard, with the admission “I’m not a piano player” (a rare interjection) and finished the show in the understated way in which it started.

Hannah Collisson