Along with many others, I made the trip to the Social Club, a venue new to me, to attend the release of Amy Goddard's new album "Secret Garden" and arrived to a wondrous and well decorated room that had been designed to capture the spirit of the album, fairy lights and incredible flowers made from music manuscript paper a lot and I mean a lot, of effort had been put in for this launch.
Amy had designed the set, as well as the music that was subsequently going to fill the room, with an eye attuned to find details, she also makes her own guitars and for a really lucky few makes them for other people, she is a talented musician, luthier and designer, one that I have been fortunate enough to hear, but until now not see live.
Amy had gone down the root of making this very much an Amy Goddard and friends night, gathering around her the musicians that had played on the album as well as alongside her in regular folk club performances. No support meant that she was coming into a room that was cold albeit warm hearted, following a short introduction from Blues & Roots radio host, Brian Player.
It has to be said that for the first couple of numbers, there was a sense of trepidation in her voice, she nervously sipped from her bottle of water between songs and just briefly a fear that she may falter, then she went into a self-penned song about bringing out your inner strength and knowing that you are worth more and she took courage from her own words and from that point forward this was a "Secret Garden" album launch that was well worthy of the name.
Now relaxed with friends in the audience and onstage, Amy really got into her stride, bringing the crowd with her, not only on the new songs, but on more familiar ones, with the occasional opportunity for a bit of a singalong, both with Amy and friends.
One of the aspects that I really liked about the night was Amy handing the stage to the musicians and singers that participated on the album, DiElle on backing vocals, Jonathan Lewis on guitar and bass. Tony Brown on hammer dulcimer, Paul Fremantle on whistle, Andy Adams as guest vocalist and even her dad, Alan Whitby making a guest appearance.
All in all a great night of music, one that you left feeling so much more energised than when you'ld arrived. Music does that to you, particularly when it's been delivered in such a creative atmosphere.
Neil King, Words & Pictures
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