‘Someone to Watch…’

“Bass bounces off stone walls and dreamy guitar floats around the room.” Dom Best sees emerging artist Someone, live in Leeds for SCENE.

(Image: Bibian Bingen)

Convincing my parents that I hadn’t embarked on a newfound romance was hard, particularly when I said the words: ‘I’m seeing Someone’. However, in this case ‘Someone’ is Tessa Rose Jackson, a musician who I went to see play last Tuesday.

The gig was in Farsley, a small town sandwiched between Leeds and Bradford. I was unsure of what to expect, but I hadn’t envisioned wandering around a converted wool mill for 23 minutes. 

Thankfully, my bronze DofE navigation skills, also known as Google Maps, came to my aid, and I found the small record shop where Someone would be playing.  

Opening the set was the visceral poetry of Toria Garbutt, immediately forming an intimacy between us all that was to linger in that small, slightly-too-cold room for the whole evening. 

Once the applause had died down, Someone took centre stage, though ‘corner of the room’ would probably be more accurate. 

Combine the dreamlike production of Beach House with confessionary songwriting reminiscent of Phoebe Bridgers, and you get a fairly accurate impression of Someone’s sound. 

However, there are subtle surprises weaved into her songs – be it funky offbeats or keyboard solos, courtesy of her excellent band – which prevent any hint of formula from being created. 

Highlights included spacey ‘Audrey’ (I’m a sucker for a Twin Peaks reference), and ‘Paris at Midnight’ (jazzy trumpet sadly not included), which could win an award for ‘most aptly-named song’. 

I have always been of the view that the smaller the venue the better the gig, and it certainly proved correct here – bass and drums seemed to bounce off stone walls as dreamy guitar and synths floated around the room. Thankfully, Tessa’s mellifluous voice was never drowned out, only complemented.  

As the final song came to a close and the audience began to wake from their collective trance, I joined in the profuse applause. 

This was, I thought as I clapped, a songwriter and a band of real talent, but more importantly, real potential.