Stargazing: Katy Hurt, Danielle Lewis, Charlie Hendren Green Note Basement
If you thought the Green Note was a small intimate venue, then try turning right as you enter, as the opportunity to get even more up close and personal comes with any of the shows hosted in their Basement Bar. Boasting a venue capacity of just 25, entering the bar is a little bit like going down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. A small door opens on to a narrow flight of stairs with a low headroom, descending in to darkness. As you make your way down the stairs the automatic light shows you the way in to what at first appears to be a narrow corridor with a hatch in to the bar area. This is almost the full extent of the venue, with various types of seating alongside each wall around small tables. They’ve even managed to squeeze a piano in to the performance space.
Charlie Hendren opened the show and his folk sound was well suited to the small venue. With just an acoustic guitar for melody and percussion we got to find out a little about the inspiration and development of the songs. Opening with a song inspired by a dream this was followed by “Lovers’ Trust”, unsurprisingly a love song. Charlie included a song dedicated to the queen of Camden, Amy Winehouse, who had also played the venue. His closing song, “The Smallest Device”, was a political song dedicated to a certain world leader…
Danielle Lewis was up next, a Welsh songstress all the way from Cardiff. With an a capella opening her first song, in Welsh, was one of Longing and Homesickness. Her haunting vocals filled the small venue as she sang about a time she was in Australia and staring out to sea. Things took a more folk/acoustic turn with the title track to her EP “Fly” before a more upbeat tune “West Coast Sun” dedicated to her home town of Newquay. Danielle included a cover of Fleetwood Mac's “Landslide” in her set, and whilst this was somewhat different to the original, it was a very accomplished version nonetheless!
Katy Hurt has recently been seen in a number of formats, be it heading a full band on stage at Buckle & Boots, or singing solo in a rather noisy pub in Hammersmith. Tonight she was seated and joined by Gab on guitar, one third of The Healers. Katy has a voice that defies her stature and in such a small venue this was indeed a powerful performance. Opening with “Because I Do” the lyrics have the the ability to keep running through my head even now “Her legs might be longer, hair might be blonder”... This show was a chance for Katy to air some of the songs that wouldn’t normally get played with a full band set-up, as such we were treated to “Seasons” and “Pieces of my Heart”, ironically a song left off her “Pieces of Me” double EP (it’s not an album apparently). One of my firm favourites “Small Town” is a fast and fun song, while a change of pace followed with the beautiful “I Don’t Wanna Love You”, we even got a sneak preview of some upcoming merch for the song “Cheap”. Anyone wanting a baseball cap with the slogan “There’s nothing cheap about love” get in touch with her as she has a few to sell! As the show wound its way to a close we got Katy channelling her inner Janis Joplin with some incredibly powerful singing before closing out the show with the Forest Gump inspired “Feather”. With Katy out on the road in November, alongside the excellent Sonia Leigh, you’re in for a treat if you go along to see her – just don’t expect the same kind of show!