What a weekend for South African born anti pop sensation Baby Queen. On the Friday she released her highly anticipated debut album Quarter Life Crisis and on Saturday she got to perform it live to the brilliant people of Leeds.
Nestled in the heart of the student quarter, Baby Queen headlined the Leeds University Stylus. Don’t let the fact this venue is located within a university cloud your judgment – the Stylus is a charming, unique venue with sound and lighting rigs that really pack a punch.
Opening up for Baby Queen were Viji, a 4 piece band. The lead singer was belting out some heavy notes, and very effortlessly switching between guitar and vocals. Viji was a perfect fit for Baby Queen, possessing all the punk vibes and really bringing the venue to life. I’ll be keeping an eye out for their own tour because their style and music are really captivating.
After a fun bit of jumping around to Viji, it was time for Baby Queen to grace us with her presence. Opening with the title track Quarter Life Crisis with the room filled with a rainbow of lights solidified that Baby Queen was here for the girlies and the LGBTQIA+ of the world. Donning an outfit that was giving peak 2000’s Avril Lavigne (long-sleeved striped tee and a tie) we could not take our eyes off her.
The crowd were unmistakably huge fans of Baby Queen, there was such a lovely mix of people and it was also really sweet to see a lot of families watching the show together, which as far as potential first gigs go was an excellent choice. Not sure, however, how some of the parents would have felt about Baby Queen explaining how often they wrote songs stoned, but to be fair if you’re taking your child to a gig you’re probably a cool parent anyway.
Tracks that gleaned noticeable reactions from the crowd were Dream Girl and We Can Be Anything, but pinpointing parts of the show as standouts is difficult because throughout the gig the fans were bouncing the energy straight back to the band; there was such a mutual love, and a real appreciation from the audience. A special shoutout does need to be given to the band, for some excellent chemistry on stage.
Quarter Life Crisis is a very personal album, and there is a real rawness to that album that has been so well received amongst listeners, a rawness that translated so well on stage. The show consisted of speeches on stage around eating disorders, relationships and the real trials and tribulations of growing up, to more pinpointed moments such as moving from their home country, accompanied with beautiful piano tracks and more stripped backed instrumentals.
Overall, it was a wonderful show, jam-packed with so many emotions from the band and from the audience. The sound and stage were really great quality in terms of production, props and the album fit perfectly into the already well-established catalogue of Baby Queen live tracks.
Photography by Joseph Bernie @supafakes