After a pleasant opening set from twee-pop girl/boy vocals band Pocketbooks on Saturday night, Belle and Sebastian’s front man Stuart Murdoch’s brilliant offshoot project God Help the Girl took to the stage and played what they called to be their "first proper headlining gig" to a sold out audience at the legendary 100 Club.
"Can you see the girls? Then you got your money’s worth Was that a sexist comment?" He mentioned that it had been some time since his last performance, but Murdoch and the rest of his band mates - nine of them in total that evening - looked at ease on stage. The audience, comprised largely of Belle and Sebastian fans, took quickly to the charm of Alex Klobouk, Celia Garcia and Catherine Ireton, the three female vocalists fronting God Help the Girl.
The opening song, "Act of the Apostle" mapped the way for a 50 minute concert of effortless singing, tight vocal harmonies (particularly in the blissful 'Musician, Please Take Heed') and fun, infectious, twee charm. The girls looked beaming and energetic throughout, and there were some impressive co-ordinated hand and dance moves from the trio on tracks like 'I’ll Have to Dance with Cassie'! Klobouk’s soft vocals on 'Stills' and Garcia’s strong solo on 'Baby’s Just Waiting' were very impressive. Catherine Ireton took the main vocals on the night and shone most brightly; if there was a slight hint of nervousness in between songs, it only made her come across as a little starstruck and that was endearing to watch.
Despite it being a short set, including a new song 'Saturday Night, the Loneliest Night of the Week', as a closer, it was a treat to see Murdoch, who had been alternating between guitar and piano until then, finally stand and take to the microphone. Replacing Neil Hannon’s vocals on 'Perfection as a Hipster', it resulted in perhaps the biggest cheer from the audience.
Words by Alicia Malouf, photos by Marv.