A recent trip to London to see the wonderful Honey Ryder at The Borderline led me thinking just how lucky we locals are to have the Little Rabbit Barn bringing what would otherwise be ‘London acts’ to us on the Essex Suffolk border without all the hassle and expense that trips to London and other far flung places can produce.
So tonight we had our first visit from Babajack! Wow! Even the name sounds exciting.
But before this we had Hannah Rose Plat and Orfila to complete a trio of great artists
First up…. Orfila. The sibling trio of Matt, Lou and Abi who had to open without a proper sound check but Tom and James had them dialled in so quickly you would hardly notice. The LRB crowd were clapping along before the end of the first number which finished to raptures of applause.
Abi, the little sister gets to sit down on her Cajon whilst Matt and Lou have to stand. Abi picked the right instrument to learn in this family.
We also learned that It would be you from the NEVER EVER SLOW DOWN Album made number 11 in the iTunes chart. Congratulations.
They played a great cover of Country Roads inspired by the recent Forever Country single release by the CMA.
We were also treated to songs from the album as well as another cover of I ain’t leaving without your love from the Nashville soundtrack and Little White Church which closed the set. That was great.
No time for encores as we had a very quick stage turnaround for Hannah Rose Platt who was accompanied on keyboard and guitar by Thomas Collison.
Hannah paid a special tribute to her former teacher Jay Stapley whose wife Vinny was in the audience.
Jay was playing elsewhere and so regretfully had to miss this show.
Hannah was just simply spellbinding! She recorded her album PORTRAITS in Nashville and played a selection of these songs to enchant us. We had those pin drop moments that make the hairs on the back of your neck tingle.
She has done an Under the Apple Tree session for Bob Harris where he asked her to play the first song she ever learned.
The film Brooklyn so moved her with regard to the plight of forgotten Irish workers who built a city that didn’t need them anymore that she paused the film, wrote a song and then finished the film. It was beautiful.
If you appreciate quality songs and song writing delivered in an exceptional way, you will find a way to see Hannah Rose Platt perform. Stunning!
Again, no time for encores as Lyn and her team have prepared some wonderful food which gives us all a little time to mingle and partake in the raffle. I still haven’t won anything this year.
The stage is re set for Babajack. A band that have proved their worth many times over at festivals and venues across Europe including the Royal Albert Hall. With a collection of British Blues Awards including ‘instrumentalist of the Year’ for the fourth time for Becky and Trevor is runner up as ‘harmonica player of the Year’ 2016
They play blues that isn’t bluesy they play roots and they play explosively.
Trevor Steger on his six string Cigar Box guitar and harmonica and Becky Tate on percussion, cajon and vocals opened as a duo for the first number and were then joined by Tosh Murase on drums and Adam Bertenshaw on bass.
These guys are rhythmic and primal in their music. I have never seen such a big bass drum but all this was tempered with subtle delicate cymbals as the tracks faded.
We were treated to a selection of new songs some of which had never been played live before as the band is putting together a new album. RUNNING MAN was released in 2013 so it’s time says Becky. Writing and recording a new album consumes you.
Becky wanted to be Elvis (not just like him) when she was just 8 years old and this memory inspired a new song.
I am suffering from the tail end of a cold she said, so need a medicinal drink, I only drink drinks that begin with w. That’s Whisky Water and Wine. It’s a shame Coffee doesn’t begin with w. Laughs
We heard about the live at the Royal Albert Hall recordings facilitated by Paul Jones (Radio 2) that have been lost to them by some dispute between the BBC and the Royale Albert Hall, but the producer arranged to re-record Babajack live again to capture the moment, so Babajack have a live album.
In all honesty not many people have a hi fi in their home or car that can deliver the visceral nature of Babajck. You need to see them live.
Becky talked about her sadness that the Brexit debate left the English looking in a bad light. She talked about her pride to be English and refocused us on all the good we have done and still do as opposed to the biased representation we get from the mass media.
So on this theme they closed with a song taken from and old English folk tune made popular by Led Zeppelin. Gallows Pole. This has come a long way from the original and Babajack gave it the full LZ treatment.
Wow! We were out of time. Again no encores as the 11 o’clock curfew must be observed.
That’s another memorable night at The Little Rabbit Barn and the penultimate show of 2016 over all too quickly.
We look forward to seeing you at the last show for the year and thank you for supporting independent live music.
Editor: thanks for the review Chris and picture credits shared with Andy Sheard.
Our end of year show comes up on Saturday 29th October and is a double header with Kelley Mcrae and Matt Castelein + Ilona with her band. Kelley visited us in 2014 and very memorable it was too. We watched Ilona perform with her band in The Brooklyn Bowl venue at this years C2C. It was a show highlight so we are thrilled to finish the year on a high.