Berlin has a reputation for attracting free spirits, the potential for course-correcting young people’s lives and providing the kind of space – the right physical and mental conditions – needed to foster creativity. For better or worse, the city’s international creative migrants have found or established an environment to let loose in, one devoid of many of the common concerns and hindrances their former realities may have been fraught with. For some, such conditions might ultimately be ideal – exactly the catalyst they required to move forward and blossom – or for others such escapism could spell-out certain doom, but for ALICE PHOEBE LOU the case seems to be very much the former.
The young South African street musician successfully transferred her show from the usual Warschauer bridge or Mauerpark spot onto the stage of LIDO for a sold out show Friday night before a highly enthusiastic and supportive crowd – almost all of whom had first seen her out playing in the open at some point over the past two years.
With support from Israeli band PEACH PEACH and the Argentinean quartet PEROTA CHINGO – who are on a three month European tour – PHOEBE LOU presented plugged-in, more elaborate versions of her solo songs alongside multi-talented fellow musician referred to only as MATETTO, which for once matched the musical complexity of the Momentum EP versions – not an absolute necessity, the live street versions tend to generally keep viewers glued to the spot for many songs in a row – but by performing here in a venue with proper, big sound possibilities the experience was not merely amplified but enriched and evolved into something that it was begging to be anyhow – a concert.
As-is in a simple red velvet dress fringed with small rhinestones she bounced around belting soulfully before a hand-made backdrop of giant 2D painted flowers, a large blue-green moon hovering above amidst small, cartoon clouds, by the end of the show there was very little doubt that she had pulled off the sort of all-around captivating, community-oriented event which she’d envisioned her first-ever live stage show to be.
After a travel hiatus, ALICE PHOEBE LOU will return to to Berlin and continue working on who-knows-what, but regardless of what which endeavors she focuses her efforts on next, this hardworking young artist (who turned 21 years old the night of the show) has set herself on a very positive and productive course here in Berlin, resulting in a potent, inspiring body of work thus far and her fans are undoubtedly eager to see what she does next.
In the meantime she just release her fist official video, Fiery Heart, Fiery Mind, filmed around Cape Town by her father: