A review of Emma’s Imagination with support at the Ironworks, Inverness on the 30th of October, 2013.

It’s been a while since Emma Gilespie, better known as Emma’s Imagination, was in Inverness – but she returned to win us all over with her soft, heartwarming acoustic numbers. Bringing with her, Alice Bentley, Megan Blyth and Eleanor Nicolson as support.

Alice Bentley  2Upstairs in room two of the Ironworks, a room very rarely used these days – we were treated to a very intimate setting, and possibly the most perfect setting that could have been provided for the night ahead. Alice Bentley started the night off with her irresistibly charming set of songs which featured a mixture of her own songs and a couple of covers.

Delving into Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” in her acoustic style, truly revealed the dark nature behind the song that we neglected to realise when it topped the charts a couple of summers ago. By adding her touch it turned it from what was a summer anthem, to a truly touching and dark song.

Her original songs reflected a very mature side to her seventeen years of age, with songs about damaging relationships, living life to its full and even touched on underage drinking. Exchanging glances with her parents at the back of the room at times, they looked back at her with emanating with pride. Rightfully so, Alice clearly has an incredible talent and has shown herself to be one to watch out for and, if you missed her, you can see her support Fatherson on the 27th of October.

Megan Blyth 1Megan Blyth has recently released her new EP “The Devils Own”, which features many of the songs she treated us to as the next support. She opened her set with the atmospheric “Ashes” which showcases her strong, undeniably impressive vocals. With every word Megan sings, it’s possible to feel her emotion and passion.

It’s near impossible to not end up completely captivated when she takes to the stage, she flaunts incredibly intricate guitar skills and her lyrics are alarmingly deep at times. Songs such as “Anna” and “Dis Ease” really stand out and leave you wanting more.

Fifteen year old, Eleanor Nicolson was the final support of the night – taking her place in the spotlight she appeared to be what you would expect from a young girl, shy and timid – but then she started playing guitar and unleashed her sensational vocals. It was truly hard to believe she is of such a young age sometimes, her vocals were impressive and her lyrics discussed matters that I wouldn’t have even been thinking about at that age. Similarly, if I could’ve played guitar even half as well as she did at that age I would have been happy. She certainly exceeds any expectations. Catch our pre-gig interview with Eleanor.

Eleanor Nicolson 2Her set was in majority her own songs, however also featured a cover of Passenger’s “Let Her Go” which was flawless. It had all the emotion of the original and added a special charm with her delightful vocals. Other highlights from her set included “Woozy” and “Sticks and Stones” which she co-wrote with Colin Macleod (The Boy Who Trapped The Sun).

After having already been bowled over by the talent of her support acts, it was time for Emma’s Imagination. She entered the room to a warm reception and immediately her warm personality shone through. Launching into her extensive back catalogue she treated us to many of her most loved songs, including “Focus”, “Pour It Out” and “Stand Still”.

Emmas Imagination 2Due to the intimacy of the venue, it made everything feel a little bit more special. In between songs Emma was chatting with members of the crowd, regaling stories from her life and revealing the meaning of some of her songs. It didn’t feel like there were any expectations, everyone was there to just enjoy themselves and let their hair down. There is no doubt that Emma’s music falls under the easy-listening category and fitted the mood perfectly.

During one of these stories she revealed that her song “Keep” took so long to write it ended up being written with three different males as her muse. The song follows suit with many of her other songs in being a heartwarming, emotional ditty.

With the majority of her set being slow acoustics, the odd up tempo number truly stood out and added a splash of energy to the set. Emma could do no wrong, everyone in the room was hanging on every word she was singing and there was a shared feeling of happiness in the air.

All four artists proved the acoustic genre is incredibly strong just now, and Emma gives her supports something to aim for. A target they are all more than capable of achieving.

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Ever since I could understand it, I have been fascinated by the English language. It connects us, yet is also a key factor in defining us all as individuals. Combining my interest in journalism and my passion for music had always been something of a dream for me. I spent much of my teenage years travelling round the country to go to gigs, then would write up short pieces to be kept in a scrapbook of memories. Since being given the opportunity to start writing for Inverness Gigs around six months ago, I have developed my skills and passion further. I have interviewed some of Scotland’s up and coming artists, I was part of the team providing extensive coverage of this year’s Belladrum festival, I regularly attend gigs around the local area - helping to provide support to the many high quality bands around, as well as having the opportunity to review some of the higher profile shows.