Zero 7 fans will know Tina Dico from her ambient vocals on their album When It Falls and this young Dane is now making her own solo mark, having already released a mini-album, Far, to critical acclaim earlier this year. The gig tonight in the intimate Twelve Bar Club was a taster for her full-length debut and, judging by her performance, the album will have plenty of entrancing, special moments.
Tina stood looking beautiful in white stilettos, carrying a taped-up, battered acoustic guitar. Despite the fact that the audience could feel her nerves (“I played with Zero 7 to 8000 people recently, but this is much more scary”), her crystal clear voice did not falter and her guitar playing was faultless throughout.
Opening folk-pop song My Mirror was beautifully executed, although it did not show her songwriting in its fullest beauty. Give In sounded like Alanis Morissette pastiche, which can never be good in a female singer/songwriter. There is so much more, so much better out there to be influenced by. However, the clarity of voice still demanded attentive listening.
Break Of Day presented a perfectly-formed, ambient acoustic tune but still there was a nagging feeling that there was more intrigue and invention to come.
The wonderful lullaby love-song Use Me was the first to confirm this suspicion, but by far the highlight of the set was Room With A View, a song about moving to London. As she presented her story of the loneliness of the city, but with a hope that circumstances would change, the song became uplifting in the saddest of ways.
There was no messing with Dico’s encore. She walked off stage and straight back on, and she sang the Zero 7 song Home tenderly and with spirit. For the finale, the appropriately-titled, The Long Goodbye, she sang of wondering “how long before I go under? I must break through, I’m falling in love with the sky, it’s too safe to die.” Very lovely.
Tina Dico presented a beautifully executed set. Her vocals were perfect and her pitching and creamy cadences unusually flawless. However, let’s hope that she will develop into the consistently special songwriter that was heard on occasions during her set, and not one forced by her record company to stay in the mode of an angsty young woman. We eagerly await.