Live Review: Girli // The Hope and Ruin, Brighton – 16.11.21

Two and a half years on from her explosive album release show in the city, GIRLI returned to Brighton on Tuesday night (16 November), bringing with her the infectious energy and brazenly bare-faced alt-pop that’s undeniably become her signature.

Unlike previous gigs, aside from her agent, the “Damsel In Distress Tour” has been completely female and non-binary led – consisting of talented musicians, artists and promoters that have worked tirelessly to make GIRLI’s self-funded dream tour a reality. After being dropped by her record label in 2019 and taking a break from releasing music, she returned a year ago with a new lease of life, resulting in tracks that are more honest and raw than ever.

British-Slovene electro-pop artist July Jones opens the show, bringing bold and candid unreleased songs such as “Butterflies” to an eager audience. Shouts of support rippled through the crowd as July performed newest release ‘Aladdin’, singing “Fuck your Jasmine and your carpet ’cause to me it’s so obscene // That what you crave is just attеntion” as she danced around the stage in a red latex two-piece, a sleek blonde plait swinging down her back.

Entering the stage through the crowd, GIRLI stands with her back to the audience as the opening beats of ‘Day Month Second’ pulse through the venue. Accompanied by performer FABER, she rattles through hits from her debut album – energetic ‘Deal With It’, poignant ‘Friday Night Big Screen’ chaotic ‘Hot Mess’ – as well as older tracks such as 2016’s  ‘Girl I Met On The Internet’, the lyrics “We’re the cool teens // We look good in ID magazine” resonating with an audience full of fans who accompanied her on her journey to adulthood.

It’s EP tracks such as ‘Dysmorphia’ and ‘Ruthless’ that really strike a chord with the audience, as GIRLI describes her struggles with mental health and self-confidence – the acoustic guitar strums and stripped back vocals contrasting the bold chorus lyrics and conveying the hardships she’s battled that have made her stronger.

The final track of the night was ‘More Than A Friend’ a catchy pop tune detailing GIRLI‘s self-discovery and sexual identity. A pin-up for anyone who’s ever felt that they didn’t fit in, stood out, or didn’t know where they stood, it’s clear that despite a year of hardships and personal struggles, GIRLI is still unapologetically GIRLI, and is someone we can all very much look up to.

Girli’s Damsel In Distress Tour continues this week with shows in Sheffield, Newcastle, Dublin and further. For a full list of remaining dates and tickets head over here.

Author avatar
Kate Eldridge

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