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Area SA1 Presents: Birdeatsbaby with support from Catherine Elms

Dr. Steve Haines

26 mei 2022

Hangar 18, 26th May 2022

Crumbs! I’m at Hangar 18 again, I’m sure my ample girth is wearing it’s own shape into the bar. But I’m dipping into the Area SA1 series of shows put on by Ross Bullitt. Ross hates the media agenda of pushing certain bands and ignoring others so he puts on these gigs as a showcase and leg-up to bands who may not get the exposure they deserve.

Support on the night came from young singer songwriter Catherine Elms. With her introducing each song with a little backstory of its writing, the set certainly had an intimate feel and her voice was captivating and her presence was compelling. With original songs like Words Run Dry and a superb cover of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill, the collection of songs was a real treat. At one point, she was apologetic for having a head cold, so if this is Elms at less than 100%, I look forward to seeing her on top form!

Now, how do I describe Birdeatsbaby? If you have a familiarity with Emilie Autumn, then you might have an idea. Otherwise, imagine David Lynch and John Waters were creating a house band and you’d probably land somewhere near this Brighton-based four piece who are a whole box of weird in the very best possible way. With songs featuring cello, harp, violin and loudhaler the set was a joy to behold. Featuring songs like Lady Grey and Box of Razorblades, the band broke down categorisation and crossed genres with reckless abandon while pain and anguish dripped from every lyric. Every song was a story and this band not only tell that story lyrically but they allow that story to decide the musicality of each composition. The result is a sonic treat of musical storytelling that just goes where the song wants or needs to go, with one song even being described as ‘jazz metal’. If you’re someone who likes their music straightforward and ‘of a type’ then this band may not be for you. For me, on the other hand, Birdeatsbaby were a real treat – and on a school night too!

This gig had more pre-sales than some of Ross’s other Area SA1 offerings, but by choosing alternative and off-mainstream acts, his shows should be considered a ‘must attend’ for any fans of genre-busting new music in South Wales and beyond.

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