The Coach House Company & Maz O'Connor

Venue: Cecil Sharp House
Town: London
Date: 17/1/15

It's funny what can happen when you get back in touch with people. I used to write for Fatea back in the days when it was a paper magazine. Then travel and work took me overseas and we really lost contact. Partners and then kids brought me back to the UK…oh wait, you're not here for me. Long story short, noticed that Maz O'Connor had won Fatea Female Vocalist Of The Year and that prompted me to get back in touch, to be greeted with, "You were there, great I need a write up." So if this seems a bit ring rusty it is.

There is a real history about Cecil Sharp House, even the walls speak folk music. It was Maz O'Connor that brought me to this part of town and seeing The Coach House Company was a real bonus. Hands up before 17th as a band, they hadn't really crossed my radar, now I'm definitely vectored in.

The Coach House Company have an EP behind them and may have an album sometime next year, already on my watch list. I've always been a fan of being thrown into the deep end with new acts, no taint of other people's prejudice to (mis)inform preconceptions, The Coach House Company were drawing on a blank canvas and it was quite a picture they were creating.

The only song I can remember the title of is "All About Eve" which actually serves as a good reference point for The Coach House Company, as there are similarities to the All About Eve of old. The Coach House Company are a band that deliver great folk rock in a contemporary style and they do that with real style and panache. The songs are really solid and the band, whilst tight, have got a fluidity about them that makes you feel that each gig they play has got an individual dynamic.

Maz O'Connor has got one of those voices that is smokey velvet soaked by a sea of expression. Regardless of whether she is performing original material or interpreting a song from the tradition she has this ability to make a song totally her own.

Maz is one of those singers that seems a little fragile when she takes to the stage, if not quite a deer in the headlights a slight nervousness that must have lasted right up until she sang her first note. Live she is even more expressive than she is on recordings and you really did pull you into her every word.

I've been going to music events for more years than I care to remember and can honestly say that no matter what era I been in the quality has always stood out and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. There were lots of poor bands in years gone by, the artists in question protected by an obscurity brought on by that human ability to forget about the bad stuff. The Coach House Company and Maz O'Connor have hopefully got years of great music to come.

Here in Cecil Sharp House I think of name like Shirley Collins, Sandy Denny and Annie Briggs, I can't help thinking that it won't be long before Maz O'Connor is spoken of in the same terms. With this being a double header of a night I have to say I leave thoroughly sated and looking forward to more.

Words:Jayne White

Pictures:Emma Werner

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The Coach House Company - All About Eve

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