A review of Rachel Sermanni + support at The Ironworks on Wednesday 22nd May, 2013.
Reviews can be a bit like buses, you wait around and two come in at once, in this case Alan Lemon (aka Gigs Snr) felt inspired to review Rachel Sermanni and Co;
Having heard plenty of the phenomena that is Rachel Sermanni it was great to hear her in person and discover why she has such a large local following. Having said that her style of music probably attracts large followings all over as her forth coming tour schedule indicates.
I suppose the question asked when I saw the lay out of the Ironworks was what would be the best way to listen to Rachel and how could her brand of music be described. I would describe the whole show as “chill out”, and for me the best way was in a relaxed atmosphere in a comfy sofa with a glass of red wine. Again a personal preference would have been for all the artists to have been down with their audience instead of highly exposed on the stage.
Megan Blyth kicked off the programme and no one can doubt her talent for song writing. At times I felt I would have liked to have heard her lyrics read as poetry. She was well received by the audience who had respectfully gathered to hear the support artists. I particularly enjoyed the lyrics of her closing song ‘Devils Own’ where she used the observations of someone sitting at a bus stop in Beauly and how Megan weaved a picture of this individuals life. I was left wishing to hear more of her work.
Mo Kenney is a 22 year old Canadian who already has a number of years under her belt in regards to singing and was singing her last appearance with Rachel on this current tour to return to a busy schedule in her native Canada. She started sprightly with her Happy Song and then slowed things down. Mo was very comfortable with the audience giving us snippets of her career and life. She was joined on stage for her penultimate song by her support and this gave a good feeling of how the artists gelled and had done through out the tour.
Duly warmed up or chilled out the audience welcomed Rachel Sermanni, as she proceeded to perform numbers from her album Under Mountains. She was ably accompanied by her backing group who not only harmonized but added their own musical skills on keyboard and fiddle. Again I felt the young talented support were a little exposed on the stage although they had no musical reason to be so.
As her programme progressed I felt an increased relaxation in hearing her material as the music just wafted over and did find myself without having consumed alcohol drifting into a semi-conscious state of relaxation. I had listened to Rachel’s album prior to the concert and had thought that her style was similar to another singer but having seen her live hearing her craic I felt she was her own person following her own musical journey.
At times her short conversations with the audience were like her patterns of songs starting without any fancy introduction and climaxing with endings abruptly as the start. I am warming to her style and await her next album. I was left in no doubt that Rachel is indeed her own person and if someone was to ask me now who I thought Rachel Sermanni sounded like I would have to admit she sounded like Rachel Sermanni.
Photos courtesy of Roddy Mackenzie.