The Green Note is rapidly becoming one of my favourite London venues. I love the intimacy of the place and surprisingly, especially if you know me, the choice of vegan bar snacks, both hot and cold , that are available. It's a quirky and welcoming venue.
I was lucky enough to see what was arguably the first Ange Hardy and Lukas Drinkwater gig at a similar time last year when they played a Laurel Canyon gig at St Pancras Old Church. That was before the album had been recorded and some of the songs sounded a little different back then.
Ange and Lukas have worked together before, most notably on the tour of Ange's last album, "Esteesee", her tribute to Samuel Taylor Colleridge, an experience they were able to draw on both in recording "Findings", their debut album and on the subsequent touring.
There were reasons, other than geography, that I'd singled out this venue to catch the tour. Other than having the privilege of being sat in rehearsals I've only really managed to see Ange perform in venues where there has been a gap between her and the audience and I've always had the feeling that close quarters will add an additional sparkle and how right that turned out to be, particularly when her and Lukas were sparking off each other, not just during the songs, but the between song banter, it almost felt like a house concert.
The problem with intimate gigs is that the stages tend to be on the smaller side, which can make getting a wide collection of instruments, including a double bass and harp plus knitted figures on stage a little more difficult, but was found. The other is that in the audience, you become accutably aware of yours and others sight lines, so tend to stay more still, which in it's self encourages quiet respect for the performers.
The sound on the night was exceptional, which meant that you could hear every small nuance in the way the chords came together, the inflections in the voices that could almost change a moment in a verse and make you think of it in a different way then when you heard it on the album.
It's nights like these that music is about, great company, fantastic atmosphere and a performance on stage that you can take away almost as something tangible, certainly as something that buzzes the body and soul for some time after the last note has faded away.
"Findings" is a great album, but Ange Hardy & Lukas Drinkwater are constantly able to make you think about their songs in a different way when they deliver them directly to you. Here are two performers very much at the top of their game and if you get the chance to see them live seize it, because night's like this can be a rare as hens teeth.
Neil King, pic Tony Birch
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