music reviews

zoe marie welch


June 6, 2018 at the Vibrant Vine in Kelowna

Musical Stylist Delivers Vibes at the Vine


"Charming, almost disarming, most compelling."

"I still wasn't really quite ready for the quality of performance that I was to witness."

Musical Stylist Zoe Marie Welch Delivers Vibes at the Vine

by Miles Overn

This performance by Kelowna r&b / soul artist Zoe Marie Welch at The Vibrant Vine was one of the very first post-pandemic state-of-emergency declaration shows in town. The beautiful and spacious outdoor setting with tables and chairs spread across the ample lawn in front of the stage created a very welcoming environment for both the entertainer and her audience. It truly was a wonderful way to come out of hiding.

Welch, while still technically a teenager, already has a vast history of dance, acting, and singing experience that allows her to be present and comfortable on stage in a way that is most unusual for even many much older performers. Charming, almost disarming, absolutely compelling. She struck a perfect balance of confidence and poise along with geniality.

Ms. Welch moved through a combination of newer hits and older classics, interspersed with a number of her own originals, and in the process touched upon a braod range of styles from artists as diverse as Etta James and Amy Winehouse. Other artists covered included Jorga Smith, Snoh Aalegra, Bryce Vine, The Zutons and so many more. At no time, though, did she lose sense of who she is as an artist. Instead, she made each song her own. Each one wrapped in her Zoe-ness.

The advice to "study the related disciplines" has often been given, and quoted, by artists from across the spectrum of performing arts. Ms. Welch moved so subtly and smoothly as she delivered her vocals over high quality tracks ( one of the remaning constraints of the state-of-emergency ) with hand and arm movements that could quite possibly have gone unseen but their absence would have taken away from the feel and the overall vibe. Such was the integration of musical and physical movement and the fineness of her nuance.

While I had both listened to her recorded work and spent time in a phone interview with her ahead of Saturday's show, I still wasn't really quite ready for the quality of performance that I was to witness. She is an articulate young woman who is dedicated to her craft. She is excited about her future in music and already in the studio laying down new tracks and recording new songs. She lives for and through her music. All of that was on display yesterday afternoon at The Vibrant Vine.

Rumour has it that they are already working on available dates to bring her back. She won a lot of hearts and minds with this solo performance of hers. If you can make it out next time, she may just win yours too.


All images copyright (c) 2020 Miles Overn


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