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  • Writer's pictureCHRIS FARLIE

LIVE REVIEW: C2C COUNTRY TO COUNTRY 2024 - SIMEON HAMMOND DALLAS - BIG ENTRANCE STAGE

One of the benefits of attending the Big Machine Pre C2C Showcase was that it led to a chance encounter with Simeon Hammond Dallas. It afforded us the opportunity that #TEAMw21 were not able to take up on the night which was to congratulate Simeon for her relatively recent appearance at Bush Hall at a Songwriter's Round. The Big Entrance stage, where although the breeze was still blowing, had an unexpected burst of bright sunshine shone down on our second chance to see Simeon in action, this time with a full band and the results if anything were even more spectacular.


SIMEON HAMMOND DALLAS - C2C 2024

Her band of drums, keyboards and bass were perfectly able to fill out the sound whether it be blues, jazz or in one case, a song that flatly refused to be pigeonholed!. We arrived hotfoot from a previous stage just as Simeon was introducing "The Blues Is A Game", a twelve bar blues, for which she would successfully get the crowd repeatedly singing the line


"You ain't got the blues you're just a sad sad man"


A broad smile crossed her face at the response, as Simeon and the band then revved things up to a completely new level - the volume increased considerably, driven by the drums at the back of the stage and Simeon's vocals more than matched them for power.


"Most of my songs are about awful men!" she said with a broad smile.


Declaring the next song to be about a "Narcissist" - "August" initially had a more jazzy feel to it, as well some neat lyrical interplay


"He prides himself on his sharpness of tongue,

So we spoke in riddles; competitive fun

A charming enigma, we rolled into one

But speaking in riddles, well it gets nothing done


and later


"I said, oh you're a clever man

He said, I'm not as clever as you think I am

And you should know we're all fools when it comes to love and desire

But I let it pass cos August is over"


The final line would be a cue to the band to the band to gradually increase in volume, as Simeon continued to fire out her lyrics including some marvelously sustained notes.


The excellent "100 Lovers" that was a stand out song at Bush Hall as an acoustic number, was now transformed into a perfect summery sound. Quite unlike anything else we would hear across the weekend yet fitting right in, this was an exhilarating set.


SIMEON HAMMAND DALLAS - C2C 2024


The title track from Simeon's "Make It Romantic" EP, was a gentle country blues, with Simeon further emphasising her lyrics by pointing her finger to the sky. Simeon also added a delicately picked slow guitar solo, which perfectly fitted this new sunshine utopia we found ourselves in - an absolute masterpiece of a performance.


In a tribute to International Women's Day, Simeon would close out her set with "Wild Woman". Driven by a powerful backbeat, this would defy any attempt to pigeonhole into any category - it seemed to transcend many and yet sound completely fresh. The backing was rocking and soulful simultaneously and with Simeon switching between singing her lyrics at pace and occasionally almost speaking them - there was little to be done except stand back and accept that you were watching something special.


"I wanna live like the wild women

Wanna live a life that's really worth something

See I'm not the kind of girl you can domesticate

Is it difficult to swallow when you hold my name in your mouth?

Do I make you wanna spit it out?"


An outstanding performance and it was perfectly befitting that the Sun Gods should choose to bathe her stage with rays of sunshine!







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