Live: The Breath at Trinity Centre, Bristol

The Breath, currently on tour in support of their brand new album, Let The Cards Fall, performed at Bristol's Trinity Centre last night, in what was a captivating show.

Frontwoman Ríoghnach Connolly and guitarist/producer Stuart McCallum commenced the show with the moody ‘Ditty’, a short acoustic guitar and vocal motif which gently opens their latest album, as the rest of the band were poised to lead into the rousing ‘All That You Have Been’, beginning the show in earnest.

Audiences responded eagerly as the band worked their way through a mix of new and older material, with the recent addition of Sam Vicary on bass working in great partnership with the unique drumming style of Luke Flowers to enhance the groove on songs such as ‘Antwerp’ and ‘What You Owe’.

The Breath's Ríoghnach Connolly addresses the audience at Trinity Centre, Bristol. Photo credit: York Tillyer.

As ever, Ríoghnach established a strong rapport with the audience between songs, tempering the more serious chat about themes of slavery, the lost art of ‘keening’ for the dead, and ‘parental perpetuation’ with her trademark humorous outbursts, even heckling at the security guard as he passed along the front of the stage.

One of the night’s most emotionally charged moments came in the powerful vocal delivery of ‘Let It Calm You Down’, a ballad from the new album dedicated to her partner Ellis (‘the Welsh Adonis’), Stuart McCallum and John Ellis underpinning the touching lyrics with a gentle acoustic guitar and piano backing.

Towards the end of the set, ‘Will You Wait’ and ‘Hide Out’ brought a more reflective tone before the band finished out the night with live favourites ‘This Dance Is Over’ and ‘Tremelone’.

Setlist

Trinity Centre, Bristol, 01 November 2018

Ditty
All That You Have Been
Carry Your Kin
Let The Cards Fall
Antwerp
Let It Calm You Down
Trip The Switch
Chilli Salt
Boat Song
Hide Out
Will You Wait
What You Owe
This Dance Is Over

Encore:
Tremelone

You can catch the band as they continue their tour throughout November in Brighton, Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield— full details available are available here.

Featured Release

  • Let The Cards Fall

    The Breath

    Released 14 September 2018

    A bewitching collection of songs that journeys from lush, beguiling storytelling to uplifting, punch-the-air anthems. Allowed to mature and breathe without losing the widescreen, multi-textured kaleidoscope of sound that marked their debut, Let the Cards Fall refines The Breath's unique Manchester take on alt-folk.

By Oran Mullan

Published on Fri, 02 November 18

Further reading

BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominations for The Breath and Ríoghnach Connolly

The 2019 awards ceremony will take place in Manchester's Bridgewater Hall on 16 October.

Alan James Creative Bursaries 2019

The English Folk Dance and Song Society have awarded four new bursaries.

7 East African artists performing at this year’s Ongala Music Festival

Named after the late Remmy Ongala, the event showcases exciting new East African talent.

9Bach on keeping the Welsh folk music alive, fresh and evolving

9Bach reflect on 10 years as a band, and adapting Welsh folk music on their debut album.