Most singers nowadays tend to rely on flashy LED screens and dazzling fireworks to keep their audience captivated during a live show. Birdy, a 20-year-old British singer, does not. At KITEC in Kowloon Bay this week, the singer transformed her concert into a veritable feast of sounds with just the power of her voice.
In an on-trend two-piece outfit and vintage maroon cloak, Birdy glided onto stage and immediately kicked things off at the piano with Growing Pains, a song with heavy oriental elements. With melodies spanning multiple octaves, the song evoked images of the tumultuous, sometimes suffocating, experience of what it is like to go through adolescence.
Birdy came into fame young – at the tender age of 14, she signed with Warner Music. She has definitely had her fair share of struggles in the music industry, and this was reflected in poignant ballad Lost It All. The audience was so memorised and entranced by the vulnerability in Birdy’s voice, you could practically hear a pin being dropped in the room.
Don’t be fooled by her repertoire of slow-paced piano ballads, though: the singer-songwriter effortlessly transformed the venue into a heaving nightclub with the upbeat Keeping Your Head Up, the first single from Beautiful Lies, her latest album. Her delicate vocals gradually built up to a powerful chorus, which left listeners in awe of her ability to blend contrasting genres in her music. The endless synth loops made a welcome change from her typically stripped-down song arrangements.
The concert finished on a high note, as Birdy performed her soulful and powerful rendition of Bon Iver’s piano ballad Skinny Love. This was also the singer’s debut single that helped to launch her career back in 2011. Birdy has a sense of maturity to her that’s way beyond her years, and she incorporated those impeccable vocal techniques into her signature song – a reminder of why the fans fell in love with her personality and her music in the first place.