If you were invited to a concert by an “Emotive Songstress” you might expect something sickly sweet or, perhaps worse, something nerve janglingly overpowering. Nothing could be further from the truth when spending a couple of hours in the company of Deborah Rose, her sister and an eclectic group of like minded musicians.
Billed as an evening of Poetry Inspired Music, you might also have expected the sort of disjointed match of lyric and music which has sometimes been the outcome of attempts to combine great poetry with good tunes.
In this case the combinations were indeed greater than the parts; verse from Tennyson, Blake, Rossetti, Dickens and even Shakespeare. The success of these offerings was in the flexibility which the writers had in their use of the words and the sensitivity of the musical arrangements.
The next worry is, how synthetic emotions can be. Reality TV shows lead us to expect extreme public outpourings. In Deborah’s case, I trust her emotions. She is feeling what she sings…and I did too.
I trust her choice of poetry. I trust her choice of collaborators and musicians. And most of all I trust her capacity to move me.
Good music moves me more than most other art forms and this Welsh born songstress came up trumps.
The other thing you might not expect from the “star of the show” is her generosity in letting her sister, Louise, open the evening and join her in a favourite number, and her willingness to give credit to her main collaborator Martin Riley, who led the ensemble.
I first heard Deborah at a charity concert for “Funny Blood”. There she sang solo and I was worried that extra musicians might dilute the experience. The opposite was the reality.
If Deborah Rose has flown “under your radar” thus far, you’re missing a treat. If you can’t catch up with her live, buy the album which this concert launched – “Song Be My Soul”. It’s almost as good as the real thing.
Review by Humph Hack, remotegoat.com