Bournemouth’s forgotten music scene: Stevie Parker at Sixty Million Postcards

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In the second BFMS feature, Hope Frost reviews a performance from the Bristol Based indie sensation Stevie Parker at Bournemouth’s very own Sixty Million Postcards as part of its WeBrokeFree event.

A Friday night at Sixty Million is always a busy one, but this week the atmosphere at the venue was especially wired in the lead up to Stevie Parker’s set. Dressed in all black in true Stevie style, the 24-year-old and her band commanded the crowds in the back corner of Sixty with their no-nonsense pop music.

Parker’s stage presence is somewhat demure but dominant and everything she does is very simple, but done with strong intentions. There are no frills here, just raw and real music with beautifully ambient production. It’s a refreshing take on pop that is meaningful and complex, which makes for an electrifying experience when witnessing it live.

The crowd were first treated to a spell-binding performance of ‘Without You’ – a new single that was released in early February. One of the most striking things about Parker is the way that she sings with an intensity that has become hard to come by in the industry, and her music reflects this. The single features a drum beat that matches the simple but thoughtful piano melody, together with Parker’s unique voice a complex and layered track is established. The band were impressively tight which meant watching them play each track, especially in such an intimate venue, was a true pleasure for all of the punters – and WeBrokeFree did well to deliver this.

What makes her gigs so transfixing is the eeriness of her music, that has an almost theatrical quality making it exciting to listen to.

Under the pink and blue lights of Sixty, ‘The Cure’ was the next track she played which is a perfect example of the revealing approach that Parker takes in her music. Featuring lyrics such as “So won’t you save me from myself?” that pull on the heart strings, she has successfully created a sensitive track.  The vibe of the song is ethereal and soulful, which mixes well with the tingling atmosphere.

‘Siren’ was the next track to be played, which is a sort of intense and textured moody pop song, with an ambient piano backing that got the crowd moving along with the track. By this song everyone was completely mesmerised by each beguiling note, and it was a special thing to see a rowdy group of Friday night Sixty go-ers, so completely captivated by her performance. This is mainly down to the interesting voice that Parker possesses. This was well displayed in all of her work but particularly in this track, as it ebbs from being soft and tender to a more harsh and demanding tone.

What makes her gigs so transfixing is the eeriness of her music, that has an almost theatrical quality making it exciting to listen to. There is so much music coming out now that relies on formulaic patterns of indie tracks that we have all heard before, so there is a void screaming for Stevie to fill it.

Stevie Parker is doing something special in indie-pop right now that reaches further than just that genre. She is one of the many incredibly talented women coming up in the industry, and Bournemouth was very lucky to play host her.

Watch and listen to Stevie Parker here: