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  • Writer's pictureCHRIS FARLIE

LIVE REVIEW: DANNI NICHOLLS - THE GREEN NOTE

It was a welcome return to the Green Note for Danni Nicholls, her American adventures having kept her away from our shores for far too long. She was supposed to be accompanied by Sam Barratt covering off guitar and pedal steel duties however a broken finger meant that was not to be. It was also expected that she might just use the night to highlight some tracks from her new album "Under The Neem Plum Tree" however as the evening unfolded there was so much more to be revealed.

DANNI NICHOLLS - THE GREEN NOTE

Dressed in her country finest with a black top complete with white tassles, the evening would start with a couple of songs from "The Melted Morning" firstly "Wild As The Water", a beautiful version just gently fading away as it got to the end, followed by "Texas" for which Danni performed almost entirely with her eyes closed as if transported to another place as she sang. The regular playing in the US has left Danni on the absolute top of her game, her voice rich and warm swirled around the ever pin drop silent Green Note..


The evenings first surprise would come with a batch of new songs and the news that she was heading back into the studio for a new full album. Starting with a strident guitar intro "The Wreckage" was pure Americana with the hint of a Fleetwood Mac sound, At times Danni would tilt her head back as she confidently powered out the vocals, while at others she would step back from the microphone and do a little jig! It would end on the line "How Did I Get Here?". The new songs came thick and fast "Making Moves" was a slower paced tune, relating the gradual emergence to normality after a break up;

"I'm not over you but I'm making moves".


There was a dreamy 60's feel attached to the next new song "Hide", apt for a tune that came to Danni in her sleep. This was the sort of classic songwriting that you could imagine being on a film soundtrack produced by Burt Bacharach! The final unreleased song of the clutch was an angry song including a profanity - most un Danni like! - "Honey", came with short clipped guitar strumming and was an unusual heartbreak song. It was cut short by Danni's guitar "Penny" proving to be a Bad Penny by going way of tune but we got the gyst!.


It was six songs in before we got to the new album, "Under The Neem Plum Tree", and it was the title track that she started with. Explaining the concept of the album as being a tribute to her Grandmother and the music she loved, the title track is essentially Danni's family history in a song. The first half of the evening would close with the Country classic "Crazy", with Danni definitely channelling her inner Patsy Cline, in a slowed down version with exemplary proper classic country vocals.

DANNI NICHOLLS - THE GREEN NOTE

The second half would start with a reworked oldie "Hey There Sunshine". No Danni Nicholl's would be complete without an audience singalong - "Back To Memphis" saw the verses sounding slightly slower and more considered than normal with Danni seeming to linger over each word letting them sink in, which seemed to really reveal the song. The audience participation on the chorus grew in volume each time until by the end it was nearer a football chant - it would allow Danni to step back and sing off mic.


Displaying a radiant smile all evening, "Beautifully Broken" had surely never sounded better, like it's predecessor, Danni seems to have found a new way to perform it, that really enhances the lyrics. Two songs revisited for the new album came next, first "Between The River And The Railway" which had something of a campfire feel about it, while "Ancient Embers", for which Danni' "oohing" on the chorus was simply divine.


Singalong number two would come with "Where The Blue Train Goes", a positive revivalist meeting of a song, it would see the Green Note find full voice again.


DANNI NICHOLLS - THE GREEN NOTE

The sheer intensity generated by Danni on "Hear Your Voice" was another wonder to behold, The verses slowly smouldered leading to choruses that exploded into bursts of pure soulful power. The second set would close with a song needed now more than ever, "A Little Redemption" with it's wishes for


"A little more love a little less hate".


It's humalong section section brought things to a close in style.


The encore would see one further communal singalong with an unreleased song written with Magic Number's - Michelle Stodart for International Women's Day. Destined for the next album "I'll Carry On" had an inspirational message at it's heart that we could all take encouragement from.


It may not have been the show that Danni originally intended but this was a heartwarming evening that left you feeling a little better about the world than when you entered - you can't really wish for more than that.


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