SO.CO Team

9 months ago

Live Report: Girli @ Mama Roux’s, Birmingham - 24th April 2023

Featured Photo

When I saw, or rather experienced, Girli for the first time, it was at SXSW, in a bar full of industry folks, who although appreciative, were clearly not Girli’s target market. Even in that slightly weird atmosphere, the 25 year old North London native still tore Texas a new one. Tonight, though, was a home game, and there was no way Girli was losing. 

Girli’s people are the outliers, the queer, the gay, the bi, the trans, and every colour, shape and shade in between. The venue is packed with ‘hot boys, hot girls, hot theys’ (as Dream Wife might put it), and every single one of them was well up for the night of their lives, in a venue sitting in the shadow of the impending HS2 rail development, and everything that particular white elephant represents. 

Girli @ Mama Roux's. Photo: Thomas Jackson

Girli @ Mama Roux's. Photo: Thomas Jackson

What really sets Girli apart is her range. She’s equally at home with the electro-punk stomp of Hot Mess, as she is delivering a addictive, soaring power-ballad in Friday Night Big Screen. The addition of Sara Leigh Shaw (of always impressive garage rock duo Pearl Hearts) on live drums adds a whole new power to the already irresistible material. 

Girli @ Mama Roux's. Photo: Thomas Jackson

Girli @ Mama Roux's. Photo: Thomas Jackson

It would be remiss of me not to mention the warmth and general loveliness of Girli’s fans. I lost count of the number of times folk apologised to me for bumping me or even just brushing past me. As someone who spends far longer than is healthy surrounded by Stone Island lads more concerned with throwing Carling (other shitty beers are available) down their necks than the act onstage, this audience was genuinely refreshing, and the show was all the better for it. 

Girli @ Mama Roux's. Photo: Thomas Jackson

Girli @ Mama Roux's. Photo: Thomas Jackson

It’s hard to envisage Girli’s star not ascending this year. She’s got the tunes, and already commands a decent army of devoted fans. A successful summer festival season and it’s very possible venues like Mama Roux’s could be a distant memory. I just hope she can carry this atmosphere with her. 

Words and photos: Thomas Jackson