Having listened intently, and regularly to' Quiet Signs', Pratt’s latest, wonderful album, since release, I have been intrigued as to how she could convey the hushed intimacy in a live setting, especially on a Friday night at the Brudenell. I wasn’t to be disappointed, but more of that later.
The support for the evening was from Saul Adamczewski, guitarist with Fat White Family and latterly Insecure Men. In stark contrast to the wonderful, ramshackle live shows of Fat White Family, Adamczewski was sat on a chair with acoustic guitar, with fellow FWF member Alex White for company on saxophone and flute.
The half an hour set was wonderfully entertaining as they worked through songs on subjects such as Gazza’s tears, and a renowned hardman from Wakefield called Paul Sykes. ' Highlight was a rendition of the FWF’s Goodbye Goebbels. Jessica herself emerged from the backstage dressing room to witness the last 10 minutes or so.
On a chair, crossed legged with acoustic guitar. the 250 or so of us in the audience showed her a hushed respect as she launched into the beautiful Nico-like 'Wrong Hand' from previous album 'On Your Own Love Again'. Her concentration, and attention to the gentle picking and strumming of her guitar was having a mesmeric effect on the audience, and actually applauding between songs actually seemed intrusive of the atmosphere being created.
With only a whispered “thank you” between tracks, it was a surprise when she thanked Saul and Alex for supporting this leg of her tour, and it took keyboarder Matt McDermott to remind us to applaud at this point.
'As The World Turns', 'Here My Love' and 'This Time Around' were played from the new album, and one can’t help being reminded of her tone and style being of a female Nick Drake, with a unique, almost childlike voice pitched somewhere between Rozi Plain and Kate Bush. Completely beguiling.
I needn’t have worried about the Friday night audience, as we were all taken to a different place with this performance, and almost exactly what was needed after the working week. Beautiful, delicate, intriguing, mesmeric, calming and above all wonderful entertainment. Check out Quiet Signs to create the same effect at home, and those travelling to The End of The Road festival this year, see you down the front of the Tipi.