Sunday 28 October 2012


Live Review

Glee Club (Studio), Birmingham

Firstly let me say I am sorry for the big gap between posts, I have been out of circulation for a while but hopefully will be back in the swing of things now. I will kick off with this review of a cracking folk singer at the Glee Club (Studio) in Birmingham, which is a great, intimate venue.

Singer/songwriter Rachel Sermanni
I couldn't really say that Scottish singer Rachel Sermanni is unique but she does have a quality which is most distinct. In appearance, she is like a female Johnny Depp and even has the vulnerable quality of his character Edward Scissorhands and, when on stage, she has the sort of movement reminiscent of a Victorian automaton. However, don’t think this is a criticism it perfectly complements her voice which is strong, versatile, has seemingly unlimited power coupled with the clarity and quality equal to that of Katie Melua. She opened her set with Ever Since the Chocolate from her album Under Mountains, which I thoroughly recommend, when she displayed an almost childlike quality to her singing that belies the deep clear and powerful tones she can wield at will.
Sermanni uses her guitar sparingly, relying instead upon the range and confidence she has in her voice which has the adaptability of an internet search engine.
She easily moved from the light ballad to a more blues-style song, Bones, where the depth and rawness of her singing would have made Janis Joplin proud.
She gave the packed out Glee Club Studio a glint of her lighter side with the Burger Van Song which was inspired by a particularly irritating man who sprinkled sugar on his chips instead of salt and then blamed her.
Perhaps not the greatest premise on which to base a song but she made it work, scattering the lyrics with a pseudo-rap style which had hints of Kate Nash’s pre-punk reincarnation.
Sermanni has this ability to move her voice around a song like a light on a screen designed to test your reactions.
The perfect illustration was a rock beat, I’ve Got a Girl, which had a broken form that musically portrayed the bizarre nature of dreams and perfectly captured the disturbing way in which images can change with no real connection, rhyme or reason. It had a staccato quality like a vocal tango.
Such is the confidence Sermanni has in her voice that towards the end of the set she unplugged her guitar and moved from the mic to treat her fans to an unplugged version of Song to a Fox.
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