LIVE: Alice Boman @ Union Chapel, London
Alice Boman brings gratitude and grandeur to the Union Chapel
Posted: 28 February 2020 Words: Will Lewis
Alice Boman’s poignant yet beautiful debut album Dream On caused a bit of a stir amongst fans, but it’s been a lengthy wait since her last release. Following EPII in 2014, Boman hinted that an album may be around the corner, but despite a few singles, there was very little else. That was until she released a string of singles at the back end of 2019 and the wait was subsequently over when Dream On was released to critical acclaim last month. With just three UK dates lined up (she had played in Manchester and Brighton the previous two nights) there was a palpable sense of subdued excitement in the crowd.
The setting couldn’t have been more suitable for the evening’s performance; the Union Chapel in Highbury, an eerily beautiful venue, was the winner of London’s Best Live Music Venue by Timeout in 2002, 2012 and 2014. Support acts Charlotte Spiral and Art School Girlfriend kept the audience warmed up as the immersive atmosphere grew.
Backed by Malmo trio Hey Elbow, Boman opened with 2018 single ‘Heartbeat’ before venturing into her debut album with ‘The More I Cry’, ‘Don’t Forget About Me’ and ‘Wish We Had More Time’ - a stunning melancholic triplet of songs exploring anguish and heartbreak. The performance of three of her latest singles at the beginning of the night endangered a risk of peaking early; a drift looked like that may be the case. Nevertheless, the grandeur of ‘It’s OK, It’s Alright’ absorbed the audience, showcasing the seamless chemistry she has with her band. Her songs may be sorrowful, but there was a clear sense of gratitude as she expressed that tonight was a gig that she had been greatly anticipating.
The beautifully apt ‘This Is Where It Ends’ highlighted her vocal ability as she finished her set. She returned for a brief encore which included 2013’s ‘Skiss 2’, before her band departed the stage and left her to close with a stripped-down version of ‘Heart on Fire’. Boman and her piano provided an intimate ending to a short set which meandered at points, but clearly showcased her abilities as a songwriter. A mixture between the anticipation surrounding the album, and the ambience of the venue, left audience members feeling both touched and excited to see what Boman has in store for the future.