Nov 1, 2007

Darren Hanlon @ The Factory

Strings? What is it about strings? In every form and fashion they just make for beautiful music. Last night I heard a man gently pluck a guitar, a banjo and a ukulele. All with consummate skill and generous warmth. Last night was my first night at the Factory Theatre in Enmore. A small and intimate venue, I quite enjoyed its clean and uncluttered space and good sound. Last night was also my first time seeing Darren Hanlon. In fact I really am totally unfamiliar with this man's work. But I walked away from this show, thinking that Mr Hanlon was a warm and erudite host with immense charm who writes songs that are kinda folky and plain but are still very honest and full of charm. He doesn't write songs full of fire and brimstone or tunes that will have you reaching for a huge thesaurus. But I found his songs to be full of conviction and extremely effective in telling a story. I also found him to be quintessentially Australian, but not in a corny way, but a true and genuine way. His songs, to me, are little vignettes of life, wry observances and tender feelings. Backed by mainly keyboards and drums (Pikelet), I really enjoyed his slower paced songs, especially the ones played on banjo. "Hold On" being a great example of this. I also loved the song he finished with, "Falling Aeroplanes", an emphatic ode to the power of the song. I can't say I will be filling my CD collection with Darren Hanlon albums, but I certainly won't hesitate to see him live again.

I also caught Pikelet in support. This is the one woman show of Evelyn Morris. I was certainly impressed with her angelic voice and her quite amazing dexterity switching from instrument to instrument. On most tracks she would loop each instrument to provide the appropriate backing. She never missed a beat and was very original and entertaining.

2 Comments:

  • At November 02, 2007 , Blogger Brad said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

     
  • At November 02, 2007 , Blogger Brad said...

    He's such an endearing live performer... I never miss a chance to see him play (and those chances don't come often enough). Glad you got one of your own.

    I recently shared a DH live set if you want to grab it before it's gone.

     

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