LIVE REVIEW >> Soak + Oliver Pinder

Orangebox, Halifax // Thursday, February 19, 2015

Soak and Oliver Pinder at Orangebox

This show is a bit different to the ones we’re used to rocking up to. As part of SOAK‘s skate park tour, she’s performing at a youth club with a climbing wall in one corner, orange pool table in the middle of the space, recording studio tucked away in a quiet(ish) corner of the building and a skate park on the roof. We didn’t get to see that. Shame.

Orangebox is a state of the art centre for young people, a place for them to feel safe, feel inspired and feel like they’re not alone.

In an awkward space at the foot of a set of stepped seats, local lad OLIVER PINDER is playing to a small group of kids who’ve been drawn away from games of pool by his delicate, passionate performance.

Soak and Oliver Pinder

This 14-year-old is regaling tales of teenage angst, a yearning for love and adventure with simply stunning songs. If the kids sat watching picked up on those lyrics, they can’t not be stirred by the rhetoric.

Like Oliver, SOAK – Derry teenager Bridie Monds-Watson – began making music from an early age, taking inspiration from her family life. She tells us that Blud, an early single, is about listening in on her parents arguing, and Oh Brother is, well, about her brother.

Her delivery is so endearing. Her Irish accent gives her lyrics a playful lilt, and new single Sea Creatures is stripped of its calypso vibe, and is a pure love song – dark, deep difficult-to-understand love.

Soak and Oliver Pinder

Soak’s ability to have us connect to her music blows me away. While she sings B A NoBody – a rather sad song from where I’m sitting – I notice a young lad who looks like he’s seen better days. Hopefully.

His blank stare moves around the room, disconnected and distant, seemingly unaware of the beauty coming from the speakers in front of him. Hell, he’s close enough to Soak for her to sing directly to him. It apparently all falls unnoticed. This place we’re gathered in is supposed to be full of fun, action and adventure, but in those few minutes it’s stripped of that lively nature. And it breaks my heart.

I can’t wait for her debut album, Before We Forgot How to Dream, which will come out on June 1, she announces tonight. You can pre-order it HERE.

Oliver Pinder’s debut EP, Island Rain, is out on March 22. He’ll be playing a launch show that night at Oporto in Leeds. For more info, click HERE.

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