In a room fitting an audience of no more than 30, the hotly tipped Hannah Peel makes her case for success and fame in 2011.
First up, however, is Laura Groves, a.k.a. Blue Roses, with accompaniment from Hannah Peel. After years of touring up and down the M62 supporting the likes of Noah & The Whale and Laura Marling, her eponymous debut album made it into some of the more alternative ‘Albums of the 2000s’ lists yet her talent remains possibly the most underappreciated in British music today; an operatic voice, concert piano ability and haunting songs on the British seaside, ambition and lament. The beautiful ‘Coast’, ‘Rebecca’ and ‘Greatest Thoughts’ all meet with passionate applause as Groves’ fills the room with a melancholic sound which restores some of the dignity to British folk music.
Peel is a different prospect; more animated, chatty and cuter, she engages the audience with each track of fairytale imagination. The sombre keys of Blue Roses are replaced by the tinkling chime of Peel’s wound music box which she uses to treat the audience to a chirpy rendition of New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’ before her own tracks ‘Song For The Sea’ and ‘The Almond Tree’. The eclecticism and attention to timbre is astonishing in each song, building up a rural and magical imagery which Peel’s singsong voice wraps around with pleasure. Her folk credentials are also proved with her turn on traditional Irish song ‘Callín Deas Cruíte na mBó but Peel’s success will come from her pure talent in front of a keyboard and microphone. In all, a beautiful evening of intimate folk music with talents yet to be discovered; it will only be of benefit to those who have not heard Hannah Peel or Blue Roses yet to look them up.
You can find out more about Hannah Peel at her Myspace or check out her hauntingly beautiful cover of ‘Tainted Love’ below.