Stevie Parker is one of the rising stars of 2017, Getintothis’ Lauren Wise caught her on the first night of her UK tour following the release of her album, The Cure.
Stevie Parker’s second performance in Liverpool this year marked the beginning of her first tour in a year, which will see her take tracks from her new album, The Cure, around the country.
Set in the intimate Studio 2, the night sees a varied audience enjoying the profound music of both Stevie and her support act, Mary Miller.
Before Mary takes to the stage, acoustic guitarist introducing himself simply as Harry welcomes the audience as they trickle in. With a similar style to Ben Howard and a little of Liam Fray thrown in, he creates a mellow atmosphere with a strong, albeit cold-ridden, voice.
Next on the bill is Mary Miller giving a slightly different performance than she is used to. Admitting to a broken laptop, the usual loop pedals and technical backing are out of the question, treating the audience to a rare and unseen version of the 22-year-old singer/songwriter.
Starting off with Angling, it’s obvious from the outset that the stripped back quality does not put Mary at a disadvantage. The cool picking of the electric guitar is plenty to accompany her haunting vocals, distilling each lyric dramatically and to great effect.
This resonance continues throughout her set, most prominent in Conditioned. Each lyric is equally as gothic as it is poetic and draws attention to how equally contemporary and aged her voice is, all encapsulated in one ethereal package.
Stevie Parker and her band arrive to the aptly blue-lighted stage beginning with tracks from her album The Cure. From the very first note the entire audience is enraptured by Stevie’s simultaneously delicate and powerful vocals.
Her range is displayed most clearly in Without You as its piercing drumbeat ranges through gentle build up to fierce crescendo, ebbing alongside sharp lyrics and choral harmonies.
Having been repeatedly likened to London Grammar, there’s something more tangible to Stevie’s performance, which delves into themes of heartbreak and depression. This is possibly because her band knit so finely together allowing the backing to intensify her vocals to their full extent.
However, even when she strips back to an acoustic cover of Joe Jackson’s Different For Girls, vocals are not left sparse by the lack of band. Confiding in the audience about being worried to tamper with a classic, Stevie has no cause for concern as she weaves an elegantly moving portrait on the canvas Jackson laid out.
Moving back into her own body of work, next up is the title track of the new album, The Cure. Here Stevie’s vocal works up into a blinding falsetto as she explores themes of mental health: “I know that lines will be blurred/ Boundaries crossed, words overheard.”
Other songs from the album, including Eden, Blue and Waiting For You, all carry the same piercing vocals woven together with by band’s tight-knit performance matched with the harrowing drumbeat adding pressure and intensity to the impassioned lyrics.
Getinothis’ Lauren Wise caught up with Stevie before the gig to chat about her latest album and feeling ‘like a bit of a fraud’.
How are you feeling about the tour?
“We started today, just a bit of travelling. I’m feeling excited, I haven’t done a headline tour for almost a year so you never really know how many people are going to show up, there’s a lot of variables but we’re going to different places that we haven’t been to.”
How is the Bristol music scene?
“In Bristol everyone I know is in a band or involved with some kind of creative pursuit in some way and everyone’s super talented as well. It’s a really good place to be to cultivate creativity.”
Who were your influences growing up?
What about smaller bands you’re into at the moment?
“There’s a group called Bad Sounds who are from Bath mainly and they’re doing really well.
And this group called Swimming Girls who are supporting me on our Bristol show and they’re great. They’re just starting to release stuff now and it’s going down really well and we’re all good friends so it’s nice to be a part of it.”
How have things been since your album release?
“Since May it’s gone really quickly. I definitely noticed a change in the shows which is the nicest thing. There’s a few more people and people sing along and come up wanting to talk to me, that’s the main thing I’ve noticed.
I feel like a bit of a fraud really, like ‘Are you sure you’ve got the right person?’ It’s by no means crazy, but having that little bit of recognition is nice but also a bit strange.”
What have you got planned for after the tour?
“I’m not sure. I’ve got a new video and single and after that point I’m just seeing what happens, I’ll go into a writing phase probably. Hopefully a bit more touring in the spring and then I’ll just be going to write.“
Photographs by Getintothis’ Gary Coughlan