Chastity Brown, Borderline, London, 13th June 2017

Chastity Brown apologises for the four year hiatus in her albums. “But I’m from Tennessee” she remarks. It could be that the record company need that explanation but it pretty much looks like every man and woman in here tonight is simply happy to see Chastity Brown back with new material no matter how long the break. Androgynous and self- assured, she grew up near Memphis but her adopted home for the last twelve years has been Minneapolis and the material on offer tonight from new album Silhouette of Sirens befits her biker boots, black waxed skinny jeans and jacket as there is a more obvious rock edge. The opener is Drive Slow, perhaps a nod to the searching, anthemic, driven genre of pop-rock commerciality, performed tonight without a bass, just Chastity and guitarist Luke Enyeart. There are, maybe unintended, influences from two other Minnesota music legends. She performs Wake-Up as if it was a Desire era Dylan song whilst both Whisper and Lost are soulful and haunting and have the nuances of a Prince ballad.

A highlight is How Could I Forget, “a simple sexy love song” she says, but that is jokingly retracted when she remembers she is performing for a rather staid British crowd. On Lost, her voice, plaintive and cracking,  proclaims to the hushed audience “when I say my name in the middle of a crowd…it’s just something Honey, that I say to myself – to find myself”

Her name is Chastity Brown.

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