Culture, Manchester, Music, News

Angel Olsen @ Manchester’s Albert Hall review and gallery – Big Time is where Olsen’s country yodel sounds most at home

0 226

Featured image: Josie Hunt

Indie folk songwriter Angel Olsen performs a sentimental set full of mischief and intimacy at Manchester’s iconic Albert Hall on her Big Time tour.

Angel Olsen will probably never perform a ‘greatest hits’ type set, and she is all the better for it. Every tour shines the spotlight on her new material, respecting herself for the generationally talented songwriter she is. So prolific is her output, it is easy to see why she gets bored of playing the same old crowd pleasers. 

Big Time finds the multi genre spanning songwriter in the most ‘country and western’ corner she’s ever been, prioritising sentimental lyricism over the indie rock cathartic tunes found on her most popularly revered album My Woman. This genre is arguably where Angel’s voice sounds most at home. Her signature yodel that sets her apart from other indie vocalists is deep rooted in the country tradition. Guitar string bending and drum brushes abound, for many, country music can be quite an inaccessible genre. But Olsen’s ability to cherry pick between the interrelated traditions of folk, blues and country delivers a beautifully detailed and imaginative night of storytelling.  

Angel more than once showed her mischievous side, luring the audience into thinking they were being treated to a newly written song only to bulldoze through her hit single ‘Shut Up Kiss Me’. We quickly found the funny side of the cruel trick, as being treated to the hit single was a rarity we treasured dearly for those few minutes, sandwiched between a quieter collection of new songs. 

Angel signed off with her signature sing-a-long encore of ‘Without You’, popularised by Harry Nilson, a song that everybody seems to know the words to. A nod to fellow song writing greats Pete Ham and Tom Evans of Badfinger, the cover felt like a tribute to songwriters everywhere, continuing the traditions of over a century of storytelling. 

For some, Big Time may seem like a backwards step in Angel Olsen’s career as the album divides fans. But even to her critics, her new songs are a sign that the prolific songwriter has no intention of slowing up. The Big Time tour solidifies Angel Olsen’s status as one of the world’s greatest living songwriters.

Gallery by Josie Hunt

About the author / 

Eddie Toomer-McAlpine

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More News Stories:

  • Opinion: “Our real legacy at university is the friends we make along the way”

    We all prioritise different things in life: our relationships, academic achievement, and financial success. While these can be great catalysts for short and long-term goals, making us resilient,  fixating on these goals can become overwhelming, even detrimental. Focusing on what we feel we have to achieve can make it easy to lose sight of the…

  • Reading and Leeds Festival 2024: The best bands to see this year

    Featured image: Georgina Hurdsfield Overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of choice on offer at this year’s Reading and Leeds Festival? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. We’ve trawled the lineups to bring you a cluster of acts to watch on the August bank holiday weekend. From jungle to riotous punk, there’s a bounty of brilliant bands…

  • Film Review: The Idea of You – A sappy feel-good rom-com

    Featured image: PA Media In this sappy, heart-warming rom-com, two lovers meet at Coachella as Solène (Anne Hathaway) takes her daughter to a meet and greet at the Californian music festival. Known for her iconic roles in The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and The Princess Diaries (2001), Hathaway plays the role of a 40-year-old divorcee…

  • Travel: Tips for multi-country trips abroad while keeping your bank account happy

    Featured image: Georgia Pearson The summer break from university is approaching and conversations about travel plans can be heard across campus. But with the cost of living at a high, students and young people are looking for cheaper ways to travel this summer. Travelling to multiple countries during one trip can be a budget-friendly way…