We are again leaving the soft cushion-like end of the music spectrum and as always return to our beloved Blues and its so familiar rough edges. Still, we will go to places that I am used to but also introduce some new things into the mix. Layla Zoe and the lovely people around her made their way to the venue with the horrible stairs and brought us an evening that brought warmth to a cold late autumn night.
Everyone that follows me online will know that those two weeks surrounding the November concerts were some of the busiest of the year for me. Work, university, concerts. To a degree, it is my fault simply because I can’t say no to the job I love and I can’t miss out on a concert if I don’t have to. So that Wednesday I spent half the day at university, a quarter at work and another quarter in Erfurt.
I arrived a little later than usual at the Museumskeller but was greeted by a bunch of familiar faces that I often run into here. Hugs were shared and so were news. They also told me what I missed out on at the Winterblues festival thing they all attended that I couldn’t come to. Furthermore, they pretty much immediately insisted I stayed with them in the front so I’d be closer to the stage and had it easier to photograph which is such a sweet thing. They also kept looking for me during the gig when I wasn’t there with them which is also a very cute thing to do. What a lovely group of people.
However, I already realized that there was something different about that night’s crowd. Despite there being plenty of space they were all standing extremely close to each other which was quite odd and made me a bit uncomfortable but oh well you work with what you get. We will talk about them again later for a second.
When showtime came around everyone was excited and energetic despite it being a Wednesday night. As usual, I didn’t really know what I was in for but the guys from earlier pretty much couldn’t stop talking about how great the band is and how often they already had seen them. When the first few seconds were done I was already sold, even more excited and almost immediately submerged in the sounds.
Alrighty, let’s try to put everything into words without sounding like I am nuts. Layla brought a very fresh presence onto the stage I don’t think I have experienced in anyone else before. There was a lot of strength, confidence and humbleness radiating from her and the fantastic band that despite me being kinda squished by the people around me it felt like they were addressing everyone individually rather than seeing them as a mass of people/ crowd. It is very odd to put into words. I had a bit of a similar but not the same experience with Walter Trout.
I don’t feel like anything I am able to say does justice to the music they were playing. They didn’t let themselves be put into a certain (genre) box but rather embraced whatever they felt like making. The musicians were devoted (if that even is the right word) and let themselves flow alongside whichever energy the music confronted them with. It was all very smooth, harmonic but rough at the same time which is a pleasant mélange at least in my book.
The connections between the musicians on stage showed a rather strong bond that allowed them to make music the way I just described and it was a lot of fun to watch as they included the crowd they see as individuals into the mix. Layla had them sing with her and such things and well somehow I got myself into that mess too. I was checking my settings or something when I suddenly noticed movement out the corner of my eye and BAM yours truly had a microphone being held in her face. At first, I was so startled I must’ve made a very funny face and then I sang probably very off-key and beat. It was quite hilarious. I still have to smile thinking about me being me. Anyhow it created a lovely intimate and connecting atmosphere which is always a huge plus.
In general, I noticed a lot of emotions going on on stage and also off stage and with that came a lot of communication. This invisible form of communication especially came to life between Layla and the guitarist Krissy Matthews and it was fascinating to watch and listen to. Their styles complimented each other so well it was almost as if they were talking. If I had paid enough attention I am sure I would’ve noticed it with the other guys as well.
Before I will do my positive resume there is one negative thing I wanna talk about that isn’t about the band but actually the crowd that night. Long story short: I have never seen that many people with cameras at a gig. It got a bit annoying as no one paid attention to each other and I was constantly blocked and pushed by people and one dude kept flashing into my face. It made me quite uncomfortable honestly. Usually, people are still considerate and watch out if there is someone next to them. I can understand a few pics to remember the gig and all but this was excessive. I don’t think I have ever experienced it this bad but stuff like that is not the bands’ fault. This is more of a “please don’t be that kind of person at a concert” paragraph.
We will wrap this up so you won’t get another 2.000 word kind of thing. All in all, it was a wonderful evening full of fantastic music and wonderful people. I rarely get to see female musicians these days but when I do they always are as amazing as they can get. Furthermore, Layla has a voice that goes from soft to powerfully rough within not even a minute which is bonkers and very impressive. The band around her was in no way inferior to her but they all rather complimented and elevated each other. If you get the chance to see them go and hear for yourself!
2 thoughts on “Layla Zoe”
Love your shot of Layla with the harmonica. Also a heartfelt review.
I’ve also found a few concerts have been extra camera heavy – particularly RUF’s Blues Caravan and female musicians like Samatha Fish and Ana Popovic.
Looking forward to checking out your take on the live music scene in your area in future!
Thank you so much for taking the time to look at my work, read about my experience and comment! I appreciate it very much. Yes I also realized the camera situation at my last gig which was Erja Lyytinen. On the one hand I am happy people take interest in their music but on the other hand it makes what I do more difficult. Have a lovely day!