I’ve had Finland’s newest pop export Alma on my radar for a little while but I haven’t had the urge to write about her as yet, because I needed a little more than the striking yellow hair to make a weighty impact on me. To tell the truth, I can all too readily hear that Alma can bang out a pop tune. I needed to establish for myself that she could deliver not only on a recording made for radio play, that she could deliver the goods on stage, live and unleashed.

The first night of The Great Escape proved to be a very fruitful opportunity to check off some of the higher ranked pickings on our ones-to-see hit list. Alma’s show at The Arch followed on from Sigrid’s showcase, in a venue that was literally a few steps away. My first thought was, this is great a building where the stage wasn’t blocked in, in anyway by columns, pillars or such. Then I noticed the neon light tubes being fixed in place as the roadies where setting up the stage. Without giving it a second thought, I stomped forward to find a place right at the front dead-centre of the small forming crowd, leaving Raj behind at the back of the room. Oops! The thrill of being there at The Great Escape was surging through me. I just wanted to soak everything in, be in the thick out it and see everything of this show though. I wasn’t leaving anything to chance when I clocked those neon tubes.

As Alma bounded onto the stage at The Arch with her statement canary yellow hair flailing about the place, it was evident from the off that she was going to ignite the stage with a personality in her performance more luminescent than those over-sized glow-sticks dotted around the stage. It’s kind of odd that Alma brings her twin sister on stage as backing singer mainly because of the resemblance and they both sport the same shade of yellow dyed hair. It would be an easy opportunity to fool around and trick the audience by switching roles. Given the sassy, energy and ballsy attitude she gave, Alma exceeded my expectations. Totally what Alma was giving me, was exactly what I had come to The Great Escape to discover. And it ALL happened right there on opening night!

So whilst, we have been drip-fed tracks “Karma”, “Dye My Hair” and “Chasing Highs” as releases which are all very good in a radio friendly grabbing way what really sold her to us was the unreleased track “Drunk Tattoos” of which we couldn’t help ourselves but get all up in the Neneh Cherry vibe of it. Another notable track was “Bonfire” totally had me onside and in the zone with my new found pop obsession Alma.

To begin with Alma had me at the neon lights. What she delivered was something else. Totes incredible.