By Rob Crozier
November 20, 2013
On a bitterly cold night a rather sparse crowd shuffles out to see Torres, who’s debut self-titled album has just seen its European release. The Green Door Store is located in the bowels of Brighton train station and offers nothing to warm the waiting crowd. We are therefore forced to order drinks in a vain attempt to keep warm.
Torres is basically lead singer Mackenzie Scott. For her first UK tour she’s recruited a drummer and bass guitarist who provide a boost to her vocals and her beloved Gibson guitar. The crowd is a mixture of students and those trying to relive their student days along with a scattering of curious onlookers.
The three piece open with ‘Mother Earth Father God’, the first track on her album. The live version carries much more power and adds weight to the song with Scott’s vocals illustrating what a powerful singer she is.
Mackenzie’s guitar playing is energizing and soon has the crowd stomping, at first it may be to keep warm, but soon it’s because her enthusiastic playing is lifting us out of the cold night. She clearly puts a huge amount of work into her song construction, as she does her performance.
With ‘Jealousy And I’ being a slower moody track, it brings a hush over the crowd, yet Mackenzie’s vocals are so piercing that the crowd remains enthralled by her. She delivers her songs with such a wonderful powerful expression on her face, yet after each song she is humble and almost timid. She even comments on how polite the British crowd is and that she is not used to applause and silence between numbers. We don’t have the heart to say that it may be due to the small crowd, which, to be fair, has now filled the venue so it feels packed. She performs a few more tracks off her album along with a new one she has just written, ‘Proper Polish Welcome’. This is an obvious return to her acoustic upbringing and illustrates her softer, more subtle tones.
The band return after a few solo tracks from Scott and dive right in to ‘Honey’, a heartfelt screamathon about a love lost thhat builds to a wonderful crescendo of bluesy rock, made all the better by the addition of the powerful drummer who seems thankful he has a track that he can really let loose on. Yet Scott’s vocals are so powerful and strong that it really is her voice that dominates the song.
She leaves us with the track ringing in our ears and her saying that “She is Mackenzie and Europe is fucking awesome” . With no fake encores, she simply invites the crowd to come and say hi after she leaves the stage.