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Tonight this old ship plays host to YouTube sensation Kina Grannis. Kina’s debut music video, “Message From Your Heart”, was aired during the half time commercials of the 2007 Super Bowl (XLII). Since then, her videos have received more than 77 million views, which has propelled her into becoming another one of the ever-growing popular personalities obtained by internet stardom. From this, the American-Japanese songstress has built a worldwide fan base, and is now touring the globe playing host to sold out shows. Tonight is proof of why, with an intense atmosphere, the crowd anxiously waits with bated breath; the stage is almost bare with only Kina’s guitars and a lonely cello on stage, we know tonight is going to be something a bit special.

Playing in with ‘The One You Say Goodnight To’ the crowd are without delay accompanying on the percussion with the backbeat of handclaps. Next on the set list, ‘Cambridge’ which is well received, may this be due to the excitement for the song itself or the fact there is a UK, city with the same name, the haunting melodies and evocative vocals, sung so sweetly, the crowd hang off of Kina’s every word so much so that the silence between almost echoes.

She plays a cover of ,‘Oops!… I did it again’, that is a far more striking than the Britney Spears original – soulful and smooth, with Kina’s sweet vocals corresponding with a stripped back melody its not surprising its had over 436,000 hits on her You Tube channel. After a handful of songs from her début ‘Stairwells’ Grannis introduces a new song not from the album, but bashfully rather than naming it states, ‘…it’s a song!’ however I would stab a guess this song may be aptly named ‘This Far’. Halfway through the set the realization sets in, “So we’re on a boat, that’s so strange! I like that”.

After ‘Delicate’ there is a little bit of a gush when the 26-year-old repeatedly thanks her fans for enabling her to do what she loves, “I’m in Bristol and there’s humans in front of me, as most of you know I spend a lot of my time in front of my computer, this is surreal”. Despite this Grannis shows no hint of shying away, charming us with her on stage presences Kina tells a story, an introduction to her next song, “my sister thought that this song was about flushing a goldfish down the toilet!” “It is actually about taking steps to achieve your goals – ‘The Goldfish Song’.

Ending the set with another of her celebrated covers this time, Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’. Joined on stage by Invisible Friend whom warmed up tonight and once again Keith Tutt (the 2nd) accompanying on cello and backing vocals, Kina brings out a personalised Ukulele to playout her gorgeous rendition of the hit. Although she may not be a name on everyone’s lips, quite yet, beautiful and multi-talented, she is sure to continue melting hearts across the globe.

Words and photo: Laura Palmer
Video: Yatin Amin