GIG REVIEWS


Charlotte Hatherley
@ Joseph's Well, Leeds
2.10.07

www.vanguard-online.co.uk


In the dark and dingy surroundings of Joseph's Well, a venue used to far heavier bands and artistes, a somewhat small, yet rather excitable crowd awaits Charlotte Hatherley. Fairy lights frame an elegantly seated Charlotte and her two companions, Jen (from Something Beginning with L) and Charley Stone – Charlotte's former bandmate from her Charlotte pre-Ash days in Nightnurse. The small venue allows for a more intimate and relaxed set, allowing her to showcase her raw talent without the need to 'amp it up'.

Opening with I Want You to Know, one of the more upbeat tracks from her latest album 'The Deep Blue', it is clear a lot of thought has gone into how to make such a track cross over acoustically – it still retains its raw, punkier edge.

Whilst the majority of tracks are from the recent album, more popular tracks from her debut album 'Grey Will Fade' are also given the acoustic touch. The infamous Kim Wilde is played to a cheering crowd. She moves effortlessly from the dreamy Wounded Sky to a perfectly harmonised Again, making it look frighteningly easy to play such tracks acoustically, whilst retaining all their richness in sound.

Rollover is a melancholic affair leading to the more upbeat Very Young and Be Thankful. Another favourite from 'Grey Will Fade' – Summer – a track reminiscent from her days in Ash, gets the Hatherley acoustic touch too as does Where I'm Calling From, and manages to still encapsulate the raw, heavier fragment of the song that is interspersed throughout.

New track, Siberia, is full of attitude, despite the small amp behind her. A romantic, sweetly sung rendition of Simon Dupree's Kites merely leave the crowd wanting more, to which she responds by playing old favourite Bastardo – her tale of a one night stand who stole her guitar.

The juxtaposition of dark and light hearted lyrics, combined with the haunting, melodic and sometime punky edge proves to be a winner – even more so when you consider that this is an acoustic set with nothing to hide behind. This series of acoustic showcases should ensure that she is no longer viewed as "that girl from Ash". Time for this ever increasing talent to remove "Ex Ash" from the posters advertising her gigs…


Becci Crowther