Stella Donelly x Thekla 09/11/22

With transcendent beauty and an infatuating presence, Donnelly dominated the boat, Thekla. Performing solo for opening tracks ‘You Owe Me’ and ‘Beware of the Dogs’ her infectious and contagious talent sailed around the venue. These two opening tracks, both hearty and sincere, built a world of wonder for the audience to cruise into.

Floating through this set, Donnelly was joined by her multi talented band ensemble - each rather profound and established in their craft for sure. Playing the title track of her newest album ‘Flood’ the transition into full band from solo playing was seamlessly beautiful.

Crowd interaction was exceptional, Donnelly and band have a contagious nature and rapport between them. It’s infectiously wholesome and smiles were passed around the stage. Telling playful anecdotes in tuning breaks, Donnelly has a magical persona, from charmingly talking about her experience in the UK as an Australian to being ecstatic about her new guitar pedal she's bought on this tour.

Reaching the midpoint of the set, Donnelly dedicated the emotional ballad ‘Boys will be Boys’ to our local hero, Big Jeff, recalling the story of how Jeff has supported her for many years, after first discovering her at The Great Escape festival.

Before we knew it, we were approaching the end of this remarkable set. Playing the newer track ‘How was your day’ a wholesome wave of chorus voices drifted throughout the audience. Drawing the set to a close with catchy indie pop yet existential track ‘Die.’ Then a lively dance routine performed with the help of Donnelly’s bassist coming to the front of the stage… After that a swift yet impressive handstand from Stella herself, she tied the night to a close with single ‘Tricks’ - a perfectly bouncy track that you walk away from the venue humming. All in all, a sentimental evening and a dazzling performance.

-written for the bristol gig guide

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