Gig Review: Billie Marten at Rescue Rooms

Words: Olivia Hannant
Photos: Nigel King
Sunday 28 May 2023
reading time: min, words

Olivia Hannant took a trip down to Rescue Rooms to see folk star Billie Marten's captivating set...


The crowd hushed as the lights went down and Billie walked out onto the stage of Rescue Rooms, looking seamlessly effortless in a pair of vintage dungarees and her long blonde hair cascading down her back. She addressed the crowd as someone in the front few rows yelled out ‘You’re so cool!’ - she replied with a smirk ‘If only you knew’ and with that we embarked on a musical journey throughout her discography. 

Opening with This is How We Move and Just Us off her newest release Drop Cherries the crowd was listening in awe as her ethereal presence radiated throughout the packed out venue. A crowd of all demographics gathered to hear her sweet tones as she continued on throughout the setlist, coming up to her microphone with ‘Let's rock!’ and proceeding to play both Willows and Arrows with a huge grin on her face throughout as she catches eyes with the lady behind me who was dancing along. The atmosphere in the audience was one of mutual enjoyment. It's great to see artists enjoying themselves as much as audience members. 


An acoustic guitar was then brought out and Billie announced that this would be her solo section of the set. She asked the audience if they had any requests - in my head I knew this was my chance to hear my favourite song off her sophomore album, so without thinking I yelled ‘She Dances!’. Alas my shouting paid off as I heard the familiar plucking of the song that often lives in my headphones. I was feeling quite emotional as Billie’s flawless vocals washed over the audience, as everyone in that room was fixated. This was followed by acoustic versions of both Live and Vanilla Baby, also from her sophomore album.

Her band then joined her onstage again to play the likes of Garden of Eden and Mice, followed by another crowd favourite La Lune which was my second favourite of the set. The light drums and backing vocals again rang throughout Rescue Rooms, with the audience so engaged watching Billie under the lights. Finishing up with I Bend to Him and Nothing But Mine, the audience erupted with applause as she thanked us and walked backstage. 


As expected everyone waited for the possibility of an encore, with no one quite sure as to whether there would be one but no one wanting to leave due to the chance of catching another couple songs. Five or so minutes later, Billie returned to the stage with Liquid Love and I Can’t Get My Head Around You - apt choices from the start and end of her discography that showed both her personal and musical progression. Overall, it was a stellar evening that really highlighted Billie’s mesmerising stage presence, beautiful voice and songwriting - one of which the whole audience was engaged and consumed by.

Billie Marten performed at Rescue Rooms on 22 May 2023.

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