Gig Review by Charles Honnor with Photography by Jonathan Morgan

Charlotte Carpenter

A cold late November evening in South Birmingham is the setting for a trio of artists who with their different styles all set out to warm the mellow attending audience.

Charlotte Carpenter

Alex Moir a sharp dressed singer / songwriter performs a confident solo set. Think perhaps a soulful, modern yet ragged around the edges Billy Bragg and you’re someway towards pinning down his span and style. “Upside Out”, “Havana” and “Currency Of Love” are stand-out songs in an emotive and committed performance.

Alex Rainsford

Alex Rainsford continues the guitar orientated evening with intricate warmth and nice accompaniment from a steely extra backing. Both guitarists display talent and the contrast in their sounds and styles elevates the vocals which genuinely generates a nice aura in the venue. This said Rainsford has elements of a one man band about him (not a criticism) as he ably beats out a rhythm and twangs away in tandem. With a range of harmonies vocally touching upon the earthly charm of Blind Melon to the powerful sharp soul of James Dean Bradfield. “Bloodlines” is a song with gears whilst “Better Man” benefits from a solid backing from the two performers.

Charlotte Carpenter

Charlotte Carpenter

The two support slots set up the headliner nicely and Charlotte Carpenter takes to stage initially in a trio backed by guitar and drums. “Woes” from the October 2014 released EP “Take It All” kicks of the headliner’s set in soft yet enchanting style. Delicate delivery hushes the room. “Sinking” from the slightly older “Whole” EP follows. “If I Could” again hushes the room. Drums are carefully brushed and the hook of this fragile sound pulls the crowd in further as it rises in its final third in utterly charming style. “Found A Light” and “Whole” follow before two purely acoustic numbers perfumed solo by Charlotte Carpenter. “Siren Song” sees the band return, it’s currently available for free via SoundCloud and is a well worth an investment of your time, your ears will thank you I’m sure.

Charlotte Carpenter

Charlotte Carpenter

“Every Now And Then” with it’s creeping build and near Twin Peaks kookiness is a weighty spell. The song twists and turns and it also wouldn’t be out of place soundtracking a Tarantino movie – another winner. A new as yet untitled song is bravely performed for the first time and it’s apparent Charlotte Carpenter is only getting stronger as her small but impressive back catalogue builds. “Love Ties” is a powerful, wholesome and earnest song and if you are thinking of purchasing an EP of hers I’d certainly recommend the “Take It All” EP as a real starting point (there’s not a dud track on it). “If I Could” closes the set, again a building well crafted song that swells into a burst of coming together of instruments and quality vocals. At times the performance has qualities of Joanna Newsom, at times it has the hallmarks of that mid to late 90’s singer songwriter boom – beyond this, and more importantly the music does the talking occasionally touching on the timeless. One to look out for…

Charlotte Carpenter

Charlotte Carpenter

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