Concert review Hazel O’Connor / Lisa De Ville

Concert Review – Hazel O’Connor/Lisa De Ville – Lichfield Guildhall – March 22nd 2013

Ben Macnair

Many of Hazel O’Conner’s fanbase braved the unseasonable weather when the singer-songwriter appeared at Lichfield Guildhall.

Support for the evening came from Nottingham singer songwriter Lisa De-Ville. With a voice that was part Stevie Nicks and part Joni Mitchell, and an accomplished acoustic guitar style, she entertained the crowds with her own music. Songs such as ‘Moving on’ showed her soaring, emotional voice to good effect, whilst the melodic ‘Neon Lights’ was a narrative song with a lilting, tuneful accompaniment.

Lisa Deville

Hazel O’Connor, known for a career that has provided melodic, high quality songwriting, was joined by keyboard player Sarah Fisher, best known for her work with the Eurythmics, and saxophonist Clare Harris, whose musical CV includes David Bowie and the Communards, for a set that included many of her best known songs, and also some well chosen covers.

‘Writing on the Wall’ ‘Runaway’ and ‘If Only’ were upbeat readings, full of musical invention, and a surprisingly full sound for an ensemble that was missing the traditional rhythm section of drums and bass. Ska music was used for the protest song ‘Black Man’ whilst their cover of Nina Simone’s ‘Do what you gotta do’ showed a different side to the group. The blues/jazz mood was continued with ‘God Bless the Child’, whilst Hazel O’Connor paid tribute to her near contemporaries The Stranglers with ‘Hanging Around’.

‘Acoustically yours’ was a touching ballad which featured three part harmonies, and three distinct beats on bodhrans, whilst the title track of her latest album ‘I’ll give you my Sunshine’ was one of the more touching songs in the evening’s running order.

The trio played a three song encore, the highlight of which was the affecting ballad ‘Rebecca’.

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