On the 12th March, I had the pleasure of seeing Chloe Foy perform live at the Old Cinema Launderette. In the small, unique Durham venue, there was a handful of people sat around, completely captured by the music.
The intimate gig began with Katie Mac, the support act. The Liverpudlian singer-songwriter belted her songs with power, whilst making the songs seem gentle. The songs which Katie sang had stories backing them, mostly about her family. ‘Golden’, she explained, was a song about her brother and ‘The Drive’ was about her father and her family home: ‘don’t stop until you react the top, my father will wave’.
Katie sang with emotion, a type of raw quality to her voice, which is often not seen in contemporary music. There was an evident connection between Katie and Chloe, as she thanked her for having her as a the support for the Durham Show. Through her songs and her raspy voice, Katie was a perfect match to support Chloe.
After a short break between acts, Chloe Foy arrived on stage, with a string trio behind her, featuring two violins and a cello. Chloe stood in front of the vintage washing machine, looking at ease, as if behind the mic was her home.
Chloe began by playing her 2018 single ‘Asylum’, which has over 6,000,000 plays on Spotify. Her angelic voice paired perfectly with the strings which played in the background. It seemed like a mix of old and new styles, as featuring a string trio was not the norm for contemporary music. It made perfect sense to play her most played song, as it is a song most people would associate with her. Whilst she started with an older song, next Chloe played ‘Callous Copper’, from her 2020 EP. The EP has received praise, complimenting the ‘tender strings and a gliding melody [that] provide the perfect backdrop to Foy’s stark and fluid vocals’.
During the set, Chloe paused from her singing and stated that ‘if you were after an evening of upbeat tunes, then you have come to the wrong place’. This statement was met by a few chuckles from the audience, who seemed to appreciate the raw and open qualities which Chloe possesses. It showed that her songs are based on her experiences and she wasn’t going to change the way she felt, just to make upbeat music. This revealed Chloe’s strong identity as a musician, following her own creative path, rather than being led astray by what other artists may be doing.
The set featured numerous songs such as ‘Birds’, ‘Borrow From Tomorrow‘, ‘Flaws’, all of which were sang with an air of effortlessness, but were all so capturing that the audience remained silent, listening to every last note. A personal favourite of the concert was ‘Never be The Same Again’, which featured the plucking of violin strings and perfectly executed high notes. I had heard this song before the concert, and I can honestly say that the live version sounded the same, if not better.
All of the elements of the music came together, in perfect harmony, providing suspense, tone and atmosphere. Typically string instruments are not seen in this type of context, but rather in an orchestra. However, the power of two violins and one cello playing alone was immense. It provided an intense background, contrasting with Chloe’s angelic voice, which left the audience feeling memorised by the blend of vintage, indie, folk music.
As two female musicians performed in front of us, Chloe highlighted the importance of female relationships, particularly within the music industry. We should not be pitted against each other, exclaimed Chloe, but rather, we should all be celebrated as we all have different talents. No two musicians sound the same, so why rank women musicians on their different abilities, sounds and styles? The notion women supporting one another was the theme of Chloe’s song ‘Evangeline’: ‘heavy is your burden, try not to lose your words’.
Leaving the show, I was in awe of the voices that Chloe and Katie had, being able to sing in such a captivating, thought-provoking and elegant way. Whilst it was a intimate venue this time, I can imagine that over the next few years, these two musicians will become more and more popular. Check them out – you will not be disappointed.