It’s a name I’d heard around the traps and whom my sister loves. Montaigne. So when she begged me to come along to her gig at The Corner, I said yes.
I didn’t really know her music (apologies to all die-hard Montaigne fans) but entered with an open mind and, in true form, about five minutes late.
The room was buzzing. Montaigne had just wrapped up her opener and the excitement was both palpable and contagious. Within minutes I was bopping along to music I liked but didn't really know, ready to be converted to Team Montaigne.
It didn’t take long. I’m all for audience interaction and Montaigne delivered in spades. She initiated a singalong for ‘Lonely’ had an incomparable charisma throughout, giving off all. of. the. vibes. Yet for all her Cool Girl persona, you still felt like you could be her best friend. Right? Guys?
The singer skilfully slowed pace when appropriate, taking the audience on a journey of empowerment, anger and self-doubt. Regular glances around the crowd revealed the impact her music must have. I saw one girl screaming the lyrics in such an emotional state, she must have cried to Montaigne before, albeit more quietly.
Unsurprisingly, the people got around her. (Montaigne, that is. Sadly no one got around Crying Girl). One particularly powerful note saw the audience erupt in cheers mid-song while the call to encore was one of the most impassioned I’d heard in a while.
I can’t say I’m surprised, given the calibre of her music. To a first-time listener, it sounded like the inspiring soundtrack to a rom com. Y’know, when the man is running through the airport to stop his unspoken love from boarding a plane to overseas forever? Yeah, that bit.
Yet perhaps my favourite moment from the show was when the singer pared it back with just vocals and a guitar. Her vocals are so strong she doesn’t need the added instrumentals.
All up, the show was energising, haunting and a little inspiring. If nothing else, I’ll be adding Montaigne to my regular run of playlists.