Folk duo First Aid Kit dazzle at Bristol Sounds 2022 - review

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A ‘spine tingling’ set by the Söderberg sisters

Last night saw First Aid Kit play their biggest show in Bristol to date (Sunday, June 26) headlining an evening of folk music at Bristol Sounds 2022.

And what a perfect setting it was, with the stage shining bright against the blue sky.

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The atmosphere was full of anticipation with lots of people getting there early to hear Bess Attwell’s killer vocals kick off proceedings.

 Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit wow the crowd at Bristol Sounds 2022 on Sunday. Pic: Jess Siggers Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit wow the crowd at Bristol Sounds 2022 on Sunday. Pic: Jess Siggers
Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit wow the crowd at Bristol Sounds 2022 on Sunday. Pic: Jess Siggers

She didn’t disappoint, with Time for Roses sounding epic as the sun lit the stage.

I’m a big fan of Attwell’s 2020 album “Already, Always”. It struck me that the songs sound just as at home on a sunny day as they would in a small concert hall in winter. Lovely stuff.

Next up, proud Bristol resident Katy J Pearson hit the stage all in green and beaming: “Wow, there are so many people.”

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She came fresh (or not!) from playing four shows at Glastonbury over the weekend. She proclaimed: “Weirdly, my voice is still here!” and it was flawless with rough edges only adding to the songs.

Pic: Jess SiggersPic: Jess Siggers
Pic: Jess Siggers

Talk Over Town was especially ace and upbeat poppy folk. It left me looking forward to the release of her next album.

Next up was the headline act, First Aid Kit. ‘Wow’ and ‘wooo’ are the first words that shoot straight into my head.

The Söderberg sisters from Stockholm (briefly Manchester) ran on stage in funky, patterned flared suits.

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I’m sure everyone in the crowd wanted one. If they were for sale, I’d have bought two. They came equipped with a new band all in blue, set against a silver lining backdrop swaying in the breeze.

Pic: Jess SiggersPic: Jess Siggers
Pic: Jess Siggers

The songs themselves took on a whole new life for me. They added an upbeat tempo to make the crowd dance and feed off their infectious smiles and energy.

Johanna especially was smiling and dancing throughout the gig and going for it full on.

There was amoment of reflection and love for Big Jeff, who I think is in most music fans’ thoughts in Bristol as they recalled meeting him at a gig in years past at the Thekla.

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“Sing like you are in the pub, don’t sing pretty” said Johana as she taught to crowd the simple Hem of Her Dress.

In fact, the crowd sang like a choir. I refrained from singing myself to listen to the crowd. The Lion’s Roar also had the crowd finding their voice. Well done, Bristol.

The encore was predictable but very much needed. It’s worth noting how awesome the Söderberg sisters’ voices are - astounding harmonies, spine tingling for slower songs like Fireworks.

When I looked around me during the showstopper Silver Lining, I was surrounded by people with eyes closed, swaying, smiling and singing passionately. This band clearly means a lot to many people.

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