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Communion Christmas Special @ The Hope - 22nd December 2011
Words and photos by www.heymancheckmyband.com
A few nights before Christmas, a cold night and a free Communion show featuring some Brighton’s brightest talents. With the stars having seemingly aligned for what would’ve seemed to be a definite room filler, it was with some surprise that The Hope crowd remained eerily sparse for what was, by all accounts, a charming evening.
Embracing the audience with sprightly renditions of their quaint rhythms and heartwarming vocals were the folksy Hot Feet. Tracks ‘Words On Water’ and ‘Oliver’ provided evidence of their compassion and tenderness, whilst Railroad and Wood House showed off a resilience that belied their modest stage personas. Though as they zipped through Wood House’s increasingly frenetic chorus’ that tangent to their sound looked to be an avenue in which they might thrive. As a relatively new band though, there is still plenty of performances and songs to be written before such decisions need to be made. Hot Feet’s engagement with the audience made the performance that much more enjoyable, their modesty and optimism rubbing off on all those watching.
Abi Wade, the latest, and indeed first artist on newly formed label Love Thy Neighbour Records headlined the evening. having just released her first EP to resoundingly positive reviews, her on stage confidence and proficiency heeded little surprise. Her disarmingly simple sound complimented the intimate atmosphere of the venue perfectly. Voices and conversation were immediately silenced as her eery first notes demanded the crowds attention.
Musical minimalism has been a trait fast tracked into the public musical consciousness via the electronic scene, but its impact is just as fruitful acoustically. The crowd hinged upon Abi Wade’s every note as she played her cello, adding increasingly complex percussive elements to each track via quirky DIY percussive instruments such as hair brushes or bass sticks. The performance was as eery as it was inventive, the room was filled with haunting vocals, gorgeous cello and engaging rhythms that left those in ear shot immersed. Her recently released tracks ‘Green Youth Great Plans’ and ‘Perfect Form’ brought with them the most vocal appreciation with the crowd, though as the performance continued, the continuity and overall performance superseded any preference for a particular track.
Whilst the turn out for what was such an endearing and amiable evening was a little disappointing, the smiling audience and relaxed Christmassy atmosphere would’ve been one easily cherished and shared with a crowd much larger. Though as was evident by the conversation and contentedness of everyone from the acts to the bar staff, this close to Christmas, and with two beautifully reserved local acts, you’d have to be a real scrooge not to have a great time.
Check out Hot Feet live here:
Date: Tuesday 3rd January 2012