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  • Writer's pictureFolklore: In Session

Michele Stodart @ The Folklore Rooms - 06/12/23

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

In the intimate embrace of The Folklore Rooms, Michele Stodart, of The Magic Numbers, returns to the Folklore stage to weave a tapestry of emotions through her latest album, ‘Invitation’, delivering an enchanting performance of heart and soul.

The night began with a wonderful set from Sylvie Lewis, close friend of Stodart. Charming the crowd, Lewis plucked her guitar and sang the blues, but it didn’t make you feel as such – a warm summer hue blankets her songs, and her voice is melodic and comforting. Bringing her experience of motherhood to life in her songwriting, she tells tales of WhatsApp groups and holiday tricks that, whether relatable or not, bring laughter to the room. Solo on stage, you’d be easily mistaken to believe Lewis had accompaniment if you closed your eyes, with Lewis’s whistling of piano licks, or imitating a billowing brass.

Stodart then kicks things off with album opener, Tell Me, a vulnerable search for truth in a relationship that has come to an end, progressing into The House, as introduced behind a gentle instrumental, and a beguiling invitation to ‘reflect’. Seeped in nostalgia, the ballad echo’s the journey through a house that was once home, with reflections on what once was, leading to realisations to find a place to grow, ‘for the heart and soul’. A check in with the audience, some seeing Stodart for the first time, and some passionate fans who know her well - either way, she has everyone in the palm of her hand.

Stodart introduces the next track, Push & Pull, and reveals some of her own ruminations on motherhood. The track is an ode, where Stodart reflects on her life thus far, being a musician and being on the road, and her paramount desire to always have her family with her, ‘right here’. Performed live, the song has a ‘Kerouac’ quality to it, with these reflections thought over stripped back verses, complemented by these moments of a quietly rumbling beat and majestic chordal licks on the piano that are stirring, becoming almost visceral of a vast landscape filled with potential.

Brimming with atmosphere constructed impeccably by the talented band behind her (Holly Carter on the bass, Andy Bruce on the Keys and Emma Holbrook on drums), a musical interlude bleeds into These Bones, a twangy, percussive number where Stodart sings with a verve: It’s clear Stodart is having the time of her life on stage. Highlighting the shift of the album’s mood before the next track that is reminiscent of the changes in life as you find the communities you thrive in, she dedicates Undone to her ‘love’, and it’s not hard to realise there is so much love in the room.

A short break, topping up the drinks and chatting to the friendly faces in the room, and Stodart delves into some newer tunes, yet to be released, with the first track dedicated ‘to all the badass woman out there’. There’s something about these newer songs that highlights a shift from the album. As Stodart took on this journey of growth and changes, she brought it to her newest creations which feel expansive and expressive, joyous. Getting the crowd to join in with vocal accompaniment on songs, ad-libbing in songs, Stodart is perhaps having the most fun on stage out of anyone I’ve seen at Folklore, it’s infectious.

One could surmise it would be an excellent night at the Folklore Rooms: Michele Stodart, a sold-out crowd, a highly anticipated new album brought to life. A night of musical brilliance and camaraderie, the triumph of joy and love resonated through the sold-out venue. Stodart can rest assured; it was an undisputed success.

Words by Etienne Ferenc

Photos: Matteo D'Ambrosio

You can listen to Michele's breathtaking new album here:


Folklore Sessions returns on the 19th December at The Folklore Rooms for the last showcase of 2023.

Doors: 19h30 Free Entry

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