Anna Meredith at Gorilla

Johnny James, Managing Editor
Gem Harris

Anna Meredith at Gorilla, Manchester, 4 February 2020, from £15 - Book now

Straddling a multitude of genres – contemporary classical, art pop, techno, experimental rock, the list goes on – Anna Meredith’s latest album Fibs is a sheer delight. Her gig at Gorilla will be, too.

A composer, producer and performer of both acoustic and electronic music, Anna Meredith has enjoyed an eclectic and illustrious career thus far. In the classical arena her future-leaning music has been performed at events as prestigious as the Last Night of the Proms and has earned her an MBE from the Queen. In the pop arena, meanwhile, the Scottish artist has won critical and popular acclaim for two gleaming solo albums: 2016’s Varmints and 2019’s Fibs.

Anna’s first foray into the pop world was 2012’s ‘Nautilus’, an imperious, fist-shaking single made of brass fanfares, apocalyptic synth bass and call-to-arms percussion. Four years later (delayed due to a run of paid commissions – fair enough), she released Varmints, an album rooted in obsessively detailed maximalism. Sitting somewhere between Battles and Animal Collective, this synth-heavy record provided a majestic meeting point for space-gazing synth-pop and fidgety, instrumental experimentation.

Fast forward three years and we have the eagerly-anticipated Fibs. Picking up where Varmints left off and then sprinting, wide-eyed, into euphoric new territory, this is a glorious second effort. Wielding the power of her excellent synth and guitar-driven band, Anna – whether by design or not (there are few clues) – has made an album that channels the chaos and instability of modern Britain.

The serotonin-stroking ‘Sawbones’ kicks us off with obsessively rhythmic synth chords and pounding percussion. As with many of the tracks, time signatures twist and keys contort until we arrive at a wholly unpredictable destination. Next is ‘Inhale Exhale’, the album’s standout. Atop rave synths, Anna weaves a lushly-harmonised melody whose wry, hooky lyrics sing to the introvert trapped in an extrovert’s world. Later things get rockier with ‘Limpet’, and poppier with ‘Ribbons’, before ending in blissed-out style with the aptly named ‘Unfurl’.

The album feels thrillingly unwieldy, sometimes even a bit mad, and yet Anna clearly has a very tight rein on these strange musical worlds, making it easy to sink into them. Judging by recent live reviews, the visceral thrills of her music are elevated new heights on stage. It’s been a good few years since Anna last played in Manchester, and her show at Gorilla promises to be a special one. We can’t wait.

Anna Meredith at Gorilla, Manchester

4 February 2020 7:30 pm
From £15

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Image credit: Maryna Makarenko, Sun-Eaters, 2022
Cinema Until 4 December 2022, from £5

HOME Artist Film Weekender 2022

Red Squirrel at Lightwaves
Festivals Until 4 December 2022, FREE

Lightwaves at Salford Quays

Cinema Until 8 December 2022, from £7.95

Aftersun at HOME

Elizabeth Gaskell's House garden. Photo by Chris Tucker
Literature Until 11 December 2022, from £4.50

Book sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre
Families Until 11 December 2022, from £27.00

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre

Music Until 17 December 2022, from £5

RNCM Autumn Season

Cinema Until 22 December 2022, from £20.00

Backyard Cinema

autumn season at z-arts
Families Until 30 December 2022, FREE

Autumn season at Z-arts

Families Until 30 December 2022, from £6.00

Glow at RHS Garden Bridgewater

OUTDOOR ART CLUB AT THE WHITWORTH
Childrens Until 31 December 2022, FREE

Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth

skyliner
Activity Until 31 December 2022, from £9

Skyliner: Alternative Tours of Manchester

Craft Beer Tour Around Manchester
Activity Until 31 December 2022, from £35

Craft Beer Tour Manchester