The Half Earth - Photography by Mark Wheelwright
When SOAK (AKA Bridie Mons Watson) entered the stage I couldn't help but hear the words my mother used to utter to me all the time as a teenager 'Take that hair out of your face' and 'Must you always wear black?'. The staging was as understated as her simple a white neon 'soak' sign, placed strategically to the bottom right of the stage as if the middle would be too flashy.
SOAK - Photography by Mark Wheelwright
Starting the gig solely on the stage for the first couple of songs, she looked shy, vulnerable even, adding to her beautiful vocals an enhanced emotion. When the fellow band members – simply consisting of a bassist and drummer - came on to the stage, the air changed to a much more confident and less guarded one, even a bit of feedback, rock-style ending the main set.
Finishing the gig after the obligatory encore with just her on stage, SOAK brought out her acoustic guitar to sing a cover of Bonnie Rait’s slightly time-obscured ballad, ‘I can't make you love me’, propelling the crowd back to a time before most of us even existed. If you like the Mercury Prize nominated album 'Before we forget how to dream', seeing her live is a must, as there is nothing to disappoint. SOAK maybe understated in appearance but certainly far from it when it comes to her performance.