In truth, if there was one way I was going get my ears and eyes finally opened to Bishop Briggs, the Capital One House showcase at Antone’s was the right place for this to happen. At SXSW, Antone’s is always the place to be at. Capital One House had superb gig programming this year, some of which started before the actual SXSW Music Festival began. It was great to see opening night film “Us” a film at the Paramount Theatre, then head on over to Antone’s to catch this gig – our first gig of the festival.
Even without being incredibly familiar with all of Bishop’s songs, I could feel every note of her powerhouse voice. As it turned out, it was just as well that she has a vocal which carries well across a room, because Antone’s was heaving with people and there was a fair bit of chit chattering among the audience going on. As well as vocal participation from the audience during appropriate key moments in the songs. She dug out some of her early releases, “The Way I Do,” “Dark Side” used in Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger, (American TV Series – the “Ghosts” episode,) her bold anthem “White Flag,” not so surprisingly, storming breakout hit “The River” also got an airing. The cherry on top of the cake was, without doubt, her mesmerising cover of “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS (the same version which features on the official soundtrack for “Fifty Shades Freed.”)
Bishop Briggs cute signature space buns hairstyle was nowhere to be seen. Before us, stood a sensational and empowering shaven-haired singer. Who gave us a good dollop of vocals, dynamics and an endearing lesson about supporting our friends when most needed. You see, it really wasn’t her intention to sport the rock star look (she shaved off her hair in solidarity with her friend Arax after she started chemotherapy.) What I will definitely remember about Bishop Briggs from this Capital One House performance, she totally had the upper hand, through every minute. It is this what makes her pretty damn out of the ordinary, special.