Leith Ross live at New Century Hall
Manchester was served up a night of tenderness when Leith Ross’ and friends took to the stage at New Century Hall on Sunday night as a part of their European tour.
You may have heard the Canadian born singer's name after their song ‘We’ll never have sex’ went viral on Tik Tok, and in turn was no doubt responsible for the downward spiral of many-a-situationships.
It’s difficult for me to sum up the crowd in words that won't be taken in the wrong light- basically, all you need to know is that when opening act ‘Begonia’ rambled something about going to therapy and being bisexual, the crowd woo-hoo’d so hard they had to stop her rambling. This enthusiasm surprised absolutely no one. I personally like to describe it as music for people with fractured relationships with their mothers, that the room's favorite author is Sylvia Plath and Ladybird is their comfort film.
We made it in time for Begonia, who led the crowd through a soulful serenade. Dressed like an Angel and oh BOY did they sing like one too. It might have been the wine talking, but it was hard to keep a dry eye as they belted out songs about teenage nostalgia and a hot dog stand.
A quick cigarette break and a big swill of more overpriced wine then it was on to the main act.
Intimacy would be the word used to describe this act, in the purest definition of the expression. Being sans their drummer, we were led through an unprecedentedly close set; setting the tone for the rest of the night as the kind that forms a hard and growing lump in your throat as you try (and fail) to choke back tears. Lovers dove their hands into each other's back pockets, friends looped their arms around each other's shoulders, and those solo braved the journey alone, swaying along as they were embraced by the melancholy alone.
Musically, Leith Ross is reminiscent of Mazzy Star, Phoebe Bridgers, Mitski, Joan Baez... Hazy, immersive and warm with lyrics that feel like a freudian stab in the chest.
Still the crowd remained obedient, patient and in awe.
I went into this gig only knowing Leith Ross as ‘that sad tik tok song’ artist and left thanking God that I didn't wear mascara as I text my family that I missed them.
Mads Mitchell for Canal St Media
Published: 8-Nov-2023 (7307)