Tuesday, 8 May 2007

REVIEW: Hannah Curwood

By Charlette Hannah

Happy Bar is a relatively new discovery for me. A good one! I used to live just over the road from Happy in Vivian St, yet it wasn’t until a couple of months ago that I ventured into the depths of the most positive bar around. Ok, lame jokes that aren’t even slightly funny aside, I think its great that people go there and actively listen to the music, rather than it being background to drinking.

Emma Boniface opened for Hannah, playing rocky acoustic songs. She has an interesting vocal delivery, with a great range and pleasant voice. She introduced my favourite of her set as her ‘cheesy’ song – Hello Stranger. I actually thought it was a really unique and well written song, and not at all cheesy. However, some of her songs lost me a little.

Hannah then took the stage with guitarist Tom, who proceeded to play the most amazing guitar, despite what appeared to be a strong visual impediment (namely, hair). He was in total control of the instrument, and complemented Hannah’s acoustic playing brilliantly.

Hannah herself has a lovely voice, with a full dynamic range, from very soft, to powerfully loud. Not many singers have the guts to sing softly, it seems to all be about how loud you can be sometimes. Her songs were also dynamic, interesting and finely crafted. Her banter between songs was measured just right, and really added to the performance as a whole. Full of emotion, some were upbeat and some a little sadder, with an appropriately autumnal feel to them. (Have you ever noticed the regularity with which the song playing in the background at any given time perfectly suits your mood and situation no matter where you are?)

The other thing that was great about the gig? Emma started just after 8pm! That’s probably what decided me in favour of going to Happy as opposed to any of the other options on Saturday night. Come on Wellington, let’s start playing music a bit earlier! Maybe everyone else is charged on energy drinks and party pills, and other assorted substances, but some people just want to dance or enjoy some music without having to try and stay awake. Starting gigs at 10 or 11 is so not cool in my books. Bring on the musical revolution that has nothing to do with the actual music, I say. Does anyone agree with me? Or do I just need to toughen up? (Toughening up in my world basically means more naps.)


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