Madison Cunningham at Thekla, Bristol - review

‘I’m a huge Jeff Buckley fan and I couldn’t help make comparisons to him’

Last night I returned to Thekla, one of Bristol’s iconic venues for the first time in lockdown years. Headlining was Californian singer-songwriter Madison Cunningham, with Rosie Frator-Taylor first up as support.

Madison is on a seven-stop tour of the UK having so far enjoyed success in her home country with two nominations for a Grammy and appearances on big shows like The Late Late Show.

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But before her on the night was Rosie - now, if ever there was an example of when you should catch the support act then this was it.

She was clearly enthusiastic to be on this tour and stated she is Madison’s biggest fan and will ‘fight anyone’ who tries to take that title away from her.

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Madison Cunningham performed at Thekla as part of her UK tour (Pic credit: Deborah Jane Arnold)

Rosie played an amazing set layering her guitar over scat singing, harmonising all sorts of genres jazz, funky soul and pop. She also threw in a crowd-pleasing cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams.

Next up was the main act, Madison Cunningham. Wow! This was my first experience seeing her live and she was everything I had hoped for and more.

Her vocal performance was absolute perfection. I’m a huge Jeff Buckley fan and I couldn’t help mak comparisons to him.

During the set, which contained songs from her debut album Who Are They Now, Madison seemed blown away to see so many rowdy, smiling, cheering Bristol faces and clearly wasn’t aware her music had traveled this far and has had such an effect.

Musically the band played tight, bluesy rock gloriousness which was a lot heavier live than I had expected.

Hospital was a highlight for me, written in lockdown about the passing of her grandmother. I dare anyone not to cry when hearing this song.

Madison was very keen to play new songs from her upcoming album Wednesday set to be released in September.

And after hearing Anywhere live I am now looking forward to seeing Madison Cunningham on her next tour, 100%.