Gabrielle Aplin performing her Light Up The Dark tour at Rock City Nottingham on Friday 5th February 2016


Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Gabrielle Aplin was thrown into the limelight after her cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s The Power Of Love was used for the 2012 John Lewis Christmas TV commercial, which then went on to top the British singles chart. To show that she was not a one trick pony, she followed this with the release of her well received debut album, English Rain.

Now touring to promote her follow up album, Light Up The Dark, Aplin came onto the Rock City stage with her guitar and simple back lighting showing just her as a silhouette. As she started with the country tinged Coming Home which immediately showcased her effortlessly beautiful vocals, she had this crowd in the palm of her hand.

Joining her on stage was her six piece band, whose spontaneity and talent created the perfect ambience for Aplin’s amazing vocals, as she delivered another track from her new album, the outstanding Hurt. Showcasing much of her latest album, there was the bluesy groove of Heavy Heart and the gospel inspired Shallow Love.She also treated this appreciative crowd to Fools Love; a track inspired by a Christmas trip to New Orleans, as well as the moody sophomore title track, Light Up The Dark.

She didn’t leave out the well known songs from her first album, such as Panic Chord and How Do You Feel Today? Please Don’t Say You Love Me proved to be a crowd favourite as she reminisced between songs, reminding her fans just where it had all began.

The set was broken up with a hauntingly beautiful cover of the late David Bowie’s Space Oddity which had this crowd simply mesmerized, before the set was brought to a close with the upbeat pop driven Sweet Nothing.

For the encore she was joined on stage by surprise guest, Nottingham’s very own Saint Raymond, as they delivered a rousing rendition of his 2015 hit single, Come Back To You. On her own again she treated us to an acoustic performance of Salvation, which she performed alone on her keyboard before the rest of the band joined her to finish with Home; a perfect ending to a 17 song set, as it perfectly illustrated what Aplin is best at; acoustic folk.

Having performed at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms only four months ago, and now playing at Rock City, there are no limits as to how far this very talented songwriter, singer and musician can go. With her charming personality shining through it will not be long before bigger venues beckon.