The Lexington’s music venue is hidden behind a set of stairs, and in the dim lights, you can just about see the faces of people chatting. In contrast, the stage is the only brightly illuminated space, revealing a set-up with empty flight cases on one side, and all of the instruments on the other. A musician in a floral shirt tunes the guitars on stage one by one, whilst Fleetwood Mac and old French music plays in the background.
When the clock hits 8.30, everybody expects Adia Victoria to walk onstage, as she had advertised a single headlining show. However, it was Mother Earth, an American hip hop duo, who took the stage. The crowd might not have matched their energy initially, but they rapidly gained confidence after the two artists warmed the room and got the crowd to approach the stage.
After their quick set, it was time for the gothic blues singer from Nashville that everyone was awaiting. As soon as her stripped down band, composed of her guitarist and keyboard player, began to play the ambient start of her first song, Adia walked onto stage. She dives directly into Horrible Weather, a track from her 2016 old album Beyond the Bloodhounds, before removing one of her rings which is getting into the way of her guitar playing. She smiles at the response of the captivated crowd who is hypnotised by the soft eerieness of her sound. Her presence draws their attention; her body sways under a long black dress, her closed eyes conveying emotional intensity.
Along with older songs, Adia played new music from her recently released album Silences at Atlantic Records, a blues cover and two unreleased songs that even her label did not know she is playing tonight. Despite the fact that Adia Victoria does not advertise herself extensively on social media, she managed to draw a considerable crowd in London. She said that she does not want to let “the mundane get in the way of the profound”, which she claimed her music to be all about. And it’s true, there was no superficiality. It was all delicately raw and enhanced by her minimal setup. She doesn’t hide behind her musicians anymore, and she played with honestly, just like back in Nashville when she was still doing open mics.
Whilst her show in London was the last of her tour, I am sure that there will be more to come. There is something fascinating about Adia Victoria. It’s the potent calmly collected energy which emanates from her presence and her music. She’s different and intriguing; and her show proved just that.
Edited by Alexia McDonald, Head Digital Editor