Music, News

Griff @ Albert Hall review and gallery – an evening of energy, emotion and enchantment

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Featured image and gallery: Gracie Hall

Cxloe, real name Chloe Papandrea, opens the evening with a stunning dark-pop performance, explaining that it’s her first time performing in the UK. Since starting her career on The X Factor Australia in 2014, Australian born Papandrea has spent the last decade releasing a catalogue of electronic-pop sounds. 

She opens with ‘Devil You Don’t’, a deep alt-pop number that showcases Cxloe’s live vocals and her ability to translate the meaning of her music just through her facial expressions. ‘Chloe Enough’ is a recently released single about Papandrea’s own struggle with self-perfectionism. ‘Soft Rock’ closes out her set, a grand and electronic anthem about dealing with a breakup. 

Griff, the moniker of Hertfordshire-born Sarah Faith Griffiths, enters the stage, swiftly mounting a ladder at the back and spray painting ‘Manchester, 28/03/24’ onto a large hanging sheet. This is the latest addition to the long list of previous dates on her 2024 headline tour. She enchants the crowd as she opens with 2021’s ‘Blackhole’, a dark-pop song which showcases parts of Griff’s versatility as an artist.

Griff manages to occupy all corners of pop music, building an already impressive discography of music only five years into her career. Dressed in a stunning white dress that has long white pieces cascading down, Griff resembles a dreamy jellyfish as with every jump and twirl the fabrics move around her as if she were floating in water. ‘One Foot in Front of the Other’ is a lighter moment, with lyrics advocating taking time for yourself and truly tackling life one day at a time.

‘Head On Fire’ is a standout, an upbeat collaboration with fellow young female artist, Sigrid, which gets the whole of the Albert Hall moving. Meanwhile, she performs ‘Good Stuff’ on piano, an emotional ballad about how her family adopts children and that every time they must leave, it’s another loss of a sibling for her.

Griff then worms her way into the middle of the crowd, much to their delight, and stands on a makeshift platform as she acoustically performs a cover of Taylor Swift’s ‘Anti-Hero’ and her own ‘Earl Grey Tea’, before treating fans to a rendition of the unreleased ‘So Fast’.

Sarah speaks about her upcoming EP, the second volume to her 2023 release, One Foot in Front of the Other, mentioning that it “has a new energy”. ‘Cycles’ is an unreleased track, self-admittedly her “most dance-y song [she’s] written”. She shows how it was crafted, with looped sounds and a Vocoder, which attributes sounds to the human voice. Its use can be seen in such songs as ‘Hide and Seek’ by Imogen Heap, which Griff sings as a demonstration. She twirls, dances and jumps to this tune, using her movement to convey the song’s emotion and her own feelings.

The encore consists of her song ‘Astronaut’, an unconventional and emotional encore accompanied by a waterfall of glitter falling down the back of the stage, the stunning evening brought to a close with the song’s final “Da-da-da-da”.

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Gracie Hall

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