CIVIC ART GALLERY
Words and Photo's by Charlette Hannah
Hannah Simpson, a.k.a Cherry Gemstone
Cherry's Gemstone's - Claire Macfarlane Cherry, Ben a.k.a B Jammin
As can be seen by the photo's, a show with Ms Cherry Gemstone is never predictable. Kicking off with a lovely ukulele song, Annabel, she began the set at the Civic Art Gallery solo.
She then moved to acoustic guitar, playing a variety of songs in her own inimatable style.
Hannah Simpson (Cherry) has one of the best voices I've heard in a long time. Sweet and husky, and yet able to blow the roof off when she really lets go. This is one woman who knows her own voice and is not afraid to use it.
After a few songs, Cherry was joined by drummer Ben Payne, or B Jammin. She picked up the electric guitar, danced around, and did a song that started with playing her guitar with the beer bottle. And from what I can gather, this was one of her more subdued gigs!
Cherry's Gemstones did two sets all up. In the second set, Cherry moved to keyboards, and was joined by violinist Claire Macfarlane. Strings (other than guitars, of course) sound so good in bands, I'm surprised more people don't use them. Claire played lovely melodies over Cherry's melancholic and slightly eerie piano tunes. As expressive as usual, the change in songwriting style between guitar and keyboard was quite noticeable. Personally I prefer her piano stuff, but although they are by the same person it is a bit of an apples and pears comparison.
Cherry is obviously a musical force, whether you like her music or not, and her voice at the very least should be appreciated by many, as it is absolutely stellar.
DISASTERADIODisasteradio turned out to be one guy, Luke Rowell, and his computer. It was high energy electronica pop, and drove me nuts after one and a half songs. There's obviously an audience out there for this sort of thing, but with no vocals and a guy just standing there tapping away on keys and barely dancing himself, it didn't even hold my attention for over five minutes, and I'm sorry to say I didn't stay around to catch the last band who were playing that night.