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  • Writer's pictureCHRIS FARLIE

LIVE REVIEW: THE SIGNATURE BREW - AMERICANA SHOWCASE - HANNAH WHITE

The very first Signature Brew Americana Showcase, curated by the good folk at Cumbrae Promotions, ( seemingly the masters of the afternoon gig) would take place at the Signature Brew brewery in Walthamstow E17 home of er East 17. Based on a trading estate seemingly packed with other breweries and eateries scattered among the DIY depots, on parking the car it seemed a slightly incongruous place for such an event to take place - but how wrong we were. On entering we were met with a high ceiling venue, pews to the right of the stage and standing space to the left. Banners detailing past and future events hung down like medieval pageantry while the back drop and further to the right of the seating were giant stainless steel vats containing the very fine fermenting liquid that was on sale outside. With a high stage and the sound masterly controlled by a sympathetic sound engineer - it would prove to be an ideal setting.

THE SIGNATURE BREW - AMERICANA SHOWCASE - HANNAH WHITE

Hannah White was first introduced to us as a solo artist, and having spent many fine events with her through last year as a band, this was #TEAMw21's first sighting of her playing as a duo with husband Keiron Marshall. It was a format that immediately brought added benefits, really shining the light on Kieron's excellent guitar work as well as bringing Hannah's vocals to the fore. Hannah would precede events by saying she was worried if she was "country enough" - but as we have said many times she possesses one of the UK's most authentic country voices and surely the essence of good country music is having something to say - and Hannah can always be relied upon for that!


As if to prove the point, the opening song "Don't Make Love Too Easy" was really essential country music, with Hannah gently bouncing up and down as she sung, and when she really let loose on the vocals it was as if she was channelling her inner Patsy Cline - as that was the name that sprung to mind as we watched on. With Keiron supplying a dreamy guitar solo and warm backing vocals this was a great way to start.

THE SIGNATURE BREW - AMERICANA SHOWCASE - HANNAH WHITE

Keiron would then go into an almost India sounding recurring guitar sound, before then moving to create an atmospheric Native American Americana sound that would become "Not The One I Love". With a screeching bluesy guitar solo and Hannah's emotive vocals this was outstanding stuff. Currently in a run of releasing a single a month for a whole year, the starting point of that series of releases "Mother You Are" was next in the set. Effortlessly moving to a more folky sound you could not help but be stirred by the chorus with Kieron turning the chorus into a duet




THE SIGNATURE BREW - AMERICANA SHOWCASE - HANNAH WHITE

In any format "Chains Of Ours" is irresistible and four years from first hearing it, it's powers remain undiminished - with a searing guitar solo that saw Hannah look on with a broad grin - this earned a well deserved extended round of applause. In a complete change of mood came another moment, so spine tingling good that it made the hairs on your arms stand on end. The drama of "Car Crash" is intense with the atmosphere ever building and the lyrics visceral, really taking us to a world that we hope does not exist yet in our hearts we know that it does. A tour de force from both artists, Hannah's vocals veering from almost a whisper to a powerful pleading while Keiron's accompanying guitar was sublime.


The uplifting overtly country sound of "Broken Bird" came with it's back story which was as funny as it was tragic, the song itself remains spiritually uplifting, the duetting on the chorus certainly took us to a happily place. Closing with "Your Country Is Not At War", a protest song, surely the mainstay subject of Americana since the days of Woody Guthrie - wrapping up critical comment in a catchy tune - what could be more Country?


It brought to an end a set that veritably flew by - Hannah White is an artist that can make you laugh, cry and think all within the space of one batch of songs, a truly special performer.


Hannah and Keiron would be the third act of four in what was a well conceived, well produced and well performed showcase - hopefully it will be the start of something regular - events like this deserve every bit of support they can get.


Full kudos to both Signature Brew & Cumbrae Promotions for putting on such a successful afternoon.


Hope to be back to for a pint of the Rhubarb cider if nothing else!!

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