Gig review: Rachel Semanni, Pleasance, Edinburgh
AT FIRST, Rachel Sermanni appeared to be fighting a losing battle with the silence.
Star rating: * * * *
“You’re too quiet!” she jokingly remonstrated with her audience amid the pin-drop quietude of the Pleasance’s large seated hall, which was maybe two-thirds full. She suggested that perhaps she might add a bit of atmosphere by finding the squeaky floorboard near the centre of the stage and pressing on it repeatedly with her heel.
None of this was intended as a slight upon her fans (she acknowledged that “it’s nice to play for you when you’re being so attentive”), but rather an intimation of how tough it must be to play such delicate music on one’s own with just an acoustic guitar and an admittedly wonderful voice in such challenging surroundings.
In the early section of the show it seemed to be an uphill struggle, but Sermanni worked hard and won.
Her chat was warm and winning (The Burger Van Song is a tribute to her own days flipping burgers at the Royal Highland Show: it’s “mainly for the man who put sugar on his chips and blamed me”), her guitar-playing rich and rewardingly dextrous, and her songwriting proved to be expertly subtle, the words she uses dancing together tenderly.
It’s her voice, though, which captured the imagination and won the heart, a blend of rootsy everywoman delicacy and barely-buried rock frankness alongside a truly unique singing accent on standouts like I Count the Days, the “weird one” I’ve Got a Girl and the mesmerising main set finale, Song to a Fox. Her debut album Under Mountains is new out – on this form, she’s just one appearance on Jools Holland away from it becoming very popular indeed.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: East