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Live review: Alice Merton @ Gorilla, Manchester, 11.09.18

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Though she may proudly proclaim she has “no roots”, no loyalty to a particular city space and no real place to call her own, it became apparent during Alice Merton’s debut Manchester show that the Canadian will always be welcomed with open arms into the city.  

Image credit: Tim Bruening

With a rich set spiked with side-splitting stories, showcased alongside sublime showwomanship, Alice Merton’s performance at Gorilla on September 11, 2018, was not just an introduction to the depth of her musical talent, but also a window into her kooky world. 

Merton, with her nostalgic reminiscing of boys who ghosted her, proved that her personality was as bright and bubbly as her sound.  Tracks such as ‘Lash Out’ personified fluorescent pink. An explosion of pure, smooth pop, ‘Lash Out’ was rivalled by ‘Jealousy’ - a song which featured enigmatic energy similarly exhibited by Marina & The Diamonds - followed closely in pleasure with the ethereal ‘Honeymoon Heartbreak’.

The audience chuckled along to Merton losing her train of thought after a “Manchester la la la” chant broke out mid-set, and felt true adoration radiating from her being once the contrastingly sweet ‘2 Kids’ had reached its crescendo. Power was projected across Gorilla and filled the venue; ‘2 Kids’ had hearts in mouths and hands entwining with others.

The sold-out crowd were treated to penultimate main set track ‘I Don’t Hold A Grudge’ (“actually, I do hold grudges” sniggered Merton) before the stage erupted with the sound of her leading single ‘Roots’. As the opening ‘Roots’ bass chords were chimed, it was clear that Merton’s set had reached boiling point.

An impeccable vocal was matched with erratic dance moves - Gorilla was treated to the image of Merton’s not-so-distant future. This may be the last time the city would be able to see the Canadian singer/songwriter outside of arena territory, but we're thrilled to barge our way through her inevitably rowdy crowds to see her again. ‘Roots’ was sparkling and the clear winner on this song bill. 

Alice Merton put on a stunning pop affair, spitting shining colours and shimmering pop sensibilities. Manchester fell in love with Alice Merton. Next up? World domination, with ‘Roots’ soundtracking every stomp.  

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