Live Review: First Aid Kit – Thekla, Bristol

Live Review - First Aid Kit

Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg wowed audiences and music critics when their album The Lion’s Roar was released earlier this year.

Bristol was the final stop on their first UK tour since the album’s release, and the fans’ desire to hear its songs live for the first time meant that the famous nightclub boat was sold out well in advance. It seems that lovers of First Aid Kit’s indie folk sound span the length and breadth of the UK, with venues throughout the tour posting sold-out notices.

Taking to the stage the duo were greeted with whoops and loud applause. They began their set with ‘This Old Routine’ and ‘Hard Believer’, before launching into ‘Blue’ and ‘In The Hearts of Men’ from The Lion’s Roar. ‘Emmylou’, their tribute to the great country songwriting partnerships, was greeted with a cheer on its introduction.

‘New Year’s Eve’ saw Johanna swapping keyboards for a harp which, when added to the sound of Klara’s guitar strings, created an enchanting backdrop for their close vocal harmonies. Another standout moment was when they came to the edge of the stage to sing their debut single, ‘Ghost Town’, without the aid of microphones and assisted by the voices of the audience.

The sisters also covered ‘When I Grow Up’ by fellow Swedish artist Fever Ray in a 14 track set, which closed fittingly with the new album’s title track. They returned to the stage for an encore, which featured ‘King of the World’ the uptempo clap-along album closer.

In addition to the songcraft evident on the album, the Söderberg sisters excelled in translating their music to the live arena (or boat), charming the audience with their perfect vocal harmonies and skilled musicianship. A magical gig.

Words and photograph by Amanda Penlington

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