Review & Photos: G. Rossington.
Last time we caught Girli live was at last Summer’s Y Not? Festival in Derbyshire when she obliterated the Scruff of the Neck Stage. Tonight, in a change of pace, her ‘F***ed It Up’ tour arrives in Birmingham at the rather characteristic Mama Roux’s in Digbeth.
Opening tonight is Louis III. Accompanied by a lone keyboard player, from the second he arrives on stage, the audience are lapping him up. His voice is soulful and his set is filled with energy. The majority of tracks are his own compositions, but up to this point he has followed a similar path to the likes of Becky Hill in being a featured artist with others. His two biggest collaborations with Lucas Estrada and David Puentez are both performed tonight and sets the mood for the rest of the night.
Having released her debut album ‘Odd One Out’ back in 2019 followed by a string of EPs, Girli, aka: Amelia Toomey is currently promoting her latest single ‘Cheap Love’ and road testing the odd unreleased song. However, as with her support, from the second her drummer and backing vocalist arrive on stage, followed moments later by Girli herself, the room is alive.
She opens with her 2020 single ‘Has Been’ and doesn’t look back. The energy from the audience carry her through. In an open and vulnerable moment on stage in the middle of the set, she states that occasionally her stage fright gets the better of her – tonight if she is suffering, she is hiding it very well. Throughout the show she is full of beaming smiles, interacting well with the close and intimate audience and is on fire vocally.
‘I Don’t Like Myself’, ‘Not That Girl’ and ‘Imposter Syndrome’ really get the audience worked up and the vibe is electric around the room. Mixing up her set between her ‘Odd One Out’ album and the ‘Cheap Love’, ‘Ex Talk’ and ‘Damsel In Distress’ EPs, you cannot help but be sucked in by Girli’s songwriting and catchy tunes swathed in melancholia. Her attitude and overall sound is a mix between Delilah Bon’s bratty punk sound and Baby Queen’s poppy dance.
There is a lot of discussion around the opening up about being a queer artist in the 21st century age. Her audience are embracing of this and seemingly are in the same mindset as well which makes things a lot easier. Her recent single ‘Cheap Love’ is a pure slice of pop greatness. ‘Inner Child’ is as yet unreleased and cements her stature as a great pop artist of her generation. The set closes with a rowdy rendition of ‘Letter To My Ex’.
Moments later Girli and her band return for an encore. 2022 single and inspiration for the tour title, ‘I Really F***ed It Up’ begins the return and sees the close audience bounce and sing along in pure enjoyment. After another “Thank You” for coming out tonight, always supporting her and promises to see us again soon, the set comes to a final conclusion with ‘More Than A Friend’.
For a bizarrely cold and wet Spring Monday night in Birmingham, this was a show of epic proportions. Girli may not be known by the masses just yet, but with her energetic persistence, it won’t be long before more get on board. A cracking night out and if you get the chance, do yourself a favour, go along, support new music and have a punky delicious night out.