Toronto, Canada – You may not have heard of Suki Waterhouse. I’d also wager that if you have heard of the English Model and Actress, you likely have not been aware of her musical prowess.
Suki Waterhouse celebrated her 31st birthday earlier this month on January 5th, but it was when she was 16 that she got her first break in the modelling world, having modelled for H&M in London, England. Once she turned 19, she began modelling lingerie and has since modelled for fashion moguls like Tommy Hilfiger and Swatch. She has also appeared on numerous magazines covers throughout her career.
In addition to her modelling, Suki is a photographer, and she’s even an actress. She played her first role in the 2012 film Pusher. To date, she has appeared in 21 films with a 22nd in postproduction. But it’s her other artistic endeavor that has me lining up outside The Axis Club in Toronto, Canada on January 24, 2023. The multi-talented craftsperson is in town to support her most recent undertaking, and to showcase her musical talents on her current “Coolest Place in the World” Tour. Waterhouse released her first album, entitled I Can’t Let Go in May 2022, and most recently released the EP Milk Teeth in November 2022.
I will admit, I had not heard of Suki Waterhouse, despite her ties with fellow actors Robert Pattinson and Bradley Cooper. I got intrigued with this visit after listening to some tracks from her debut album, and submitted my request to photograph and review the Toronto gig. Little did I know what I was about to take in. After parking the car a couple blocks away from the venue in Toronto’s “Little Italy” neighborhood, I headed down College Street. When the venue came into view, I saw a lineup that extended down the street. It was just after 6:00pm, and still close to an hour before doors opening. Immediately, I was shocked at the number of fans. So I took my place in line amongst the much younger gathering. While it hasn’t been a specifically cold January for us Torontonians, it ain’t August! But in true Canadian fashion, one of the two girls in front of me was drinking an Iced Cappuccino. At this, I gave a chuckle to myself.
At approximately 7:10, the doors opened, and the line started to progress forward to the door. As I rounded up the ramp, I was able to get a good view of the lineup behind me. If I was amazed at the formation when I first arrived, this was simply unreal. There’s clearly something going on here that 650 people were excited about, but I was still uncertain. While my musical tastes have evolved with my age and my new love of photographing concerts, I’m still a metal dude. It was going to take something special to get me on board.
After opening act Blondshell primed the crowd, the main event was about to unfold. Right on cue, the lights went down at 9:00pm and the crowd went crazy. The three-piece band, consisting of a guitarist, bassist, and drummer hit the stage and then, dressed in a white blouse, black silk vest and black silk pants, Suki appears from side stage and the roar increased. The band starts the set with the 6th track on the I Can’t Let Go LP “Bullshit on the Internet”. The track has that distinct indie sound and is a different take considering her generation’s reliance on social media.
By the 3rd track “Moves”, Suki had the packed house singing along to the top of their lungs, completely immersed and feeling the music. As a photographer, I had started to make my way from one side of the venue to the other, to get a few different angles. This was no small feat for any fan, let alone a photographer with two cameras strapped to his person, and trying to squeeze through hundreds of bodies. But admittedly, the sounds emanating from the stage and the floor was so cool. I was starting to see what the hype was all about. At the end of this track, the vocalist crouched down to get closer to her fans, and happily took a cell phone from one and took a selfie. I’m certain the fan was beside herself with joy.
By the time we get to her track “Valentine” (a song that gives me a feel of a 1950s speakeasy), on stage with just her and her guitarist, it hits me. Suki Waterhouse has a great voice. It’s sultry, soothing and sexy, and she lets herself get completely absorbed in her craft. Eyes closed, and subconsciously playing with her necklace. Two songs later, the singer appears on stage with a turquoise-colored electric guitar and accompanies her guitarist bandmate. Yes, she even plays the guitar.
One hour into the set, Suki sadly tells the crowd that it’s her last song, and she asks the crowd to really give it their all. The faithful call out a disappointed “Noooooo” in response to the last song, but happily oblige the request as the band and the singer perform “Melrose Meltdown”. At the end of the track, the band leaves and the full-house immediately starts their chant of “Encore! Encore! Encore!” followed by “SUKI! SUKI! SUKI!”. Of course, the band can’t deny this and they appear for their two song encore to raucous cheers.
There is a visible love from her fans. It’s clear to me that they adore the artist. With her interactions, answering fans who yell out “We love you”, taking time to shake hands with her devotees in the front row and even wishing Avery a Happy Birthday, it’s clear that Suki is enamored with her fans just as much. It makes her extremely gracious, smiling throughout the whole 75 minute set, and honored to be playing in her first headlining tour.
My gut tells me that good things are coming for Suki’s music career. By the number of fans in Toronto on January 24th, and so early in her music career, she is clearly winning over and building her fanbase. Perhaps she has made another!
Suki Waterhouse Online
Show Date: January 24, 2023