With more and more artists thriving for independence and artistic control, the spirit of DIY is rife and ever expanding amongst creatives. From home-grown record labels such as Peckham’s Rhythm Section, Stormzy’s self released debut album, ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’, to the growing takeover of zine culture – at the core of it all is artistry. Tonight, Carmody and her band project just that.
Friends old and new congregate in the intimate tunnels of new and acclaimed venue Omeara as Carmody is summoned to the stage by an overwhelming cheer from a sold out audience. After an ethereal solo opening performance, Carmody then welcomes fellow musicians Marie Dahlstrom, Tanya White, Laura Misch and Jasper Tygner. Instantly, we are drawn into layers of symphonies plaited together by such a refreshing female fronted stage. Tight harmonies, syncopated beats and smooth additions from Misch’s sax make this performance of ‘For Desire’ one to remember.
The crowd are then gifted with a hugely energetic rendition of ‘The Light of Me’, with the girls smiling the whole way through as everyone in the audience appears to know the words. The sheer excitement and genuine shock at the positive reaction is palpable. The good vibes are infectious and Carmody manages to keep it cool, calm and professional, promoting strong leadership. As I then notice Carmody’s necklace (a small venus female sex symbol), it is clear the importance of collaboration and support this network of musicians provide each other.
This spirit of collaboration is continued as Alfa Mist is invited on stage to perform the duo’s track ‘Dreams’, taken from Alfa’s 2015 EP Nocturne. Trance like vocals soothe the crowded tunnels under London Bridge, creating a moment of stillness amidst a well thought out set. Carmody is funny and endearing, gracefully letting us into her songwriting process – an honest telling of relationships, which we can all relate to. ‘Two Spoons’ (produced by Alfa) is a soft telling of a quaint, unusual love story, enhanced by a heavenly soundscape of pure vocals and elegant piano. ‘Missing’, produced by Jasper (as many of her songs are), showcases the resilience of Carmody’s voice and the live debut of ‘The Ways of Your Love’ exposes refined artistry.
The musicians then burst into a seamless mash up of Carmody’s track ‘Skin’ and En Vogue’s legendary track ‘Don’t Let Go’. The parallels are hard to miss; a love song expressively told through empowering voices. The alto sax boldly plays us out, soon to be drowned out by overwhelming cheers and a demand for an encore. Carmody and her band bashfully return to stage and grace us with a final track as the set is closed by incessant cheering. This was an evening of unity, empowerment and artistry.