Live Review: Hannah Rose Platt + Gene Morrissey, The Other Palace – Studio, London – 16th February 2024

Hannah Rose Platt, Old Palace London
Photo: Richard Parkinson

A mild Friday night in central London saw Hannah Rose Platt bring her big showcase to the Studio in Victoria’s Old Palace Theatre.  The programme featured  front to back performances of her latest album, the Ed Harcourt produced ‘Deathbed Confessions’ and her subsequent musical scandi-noir EP ‘Hypnagogia’. For the occasion, Platt brought with her a band of three supporting musicians, notably partner and bass player Freddie Draper plus an impressive set of film and photo visuals projected on a screen above the stage.  Tapes of interludes from the album and EP were played throughout the set.

Platt played  ‘Deathbed Confessions’ in full in the first set and led the band into the first song ‘Dead Man On The G Train’. The screen ran what amounted to a movie of successive images as Platt and band recounted the tale; the overall effect was absorbing and helped draw the audience into the darker side for what was to come.  As Platt introduced ‘Home For Wayward Dolls’, she explained its inspiration had been a collection of doll parts gathered by a couple in the rural US and displayed around their house.  The song’s slightly jazzy feel counterpointed the story. Support act Gene Morrissey stepped in to perform Ed Harcourt’s duet part on ‘The Mermaid And The Sailor’ against the backdrop of a mermaid image floating eerily through water.

Introducing ‘The Kissing Room’, Platt told us how she had been researching Grand Central Station and learned of the room’s history as a means of keeping affection out of the public gaze.  Inevitably, her take on the story added a dark twist.  The record version has a piano accompaniment which Draper was called upon to replicate on the bass with some success. ‘The Gentleman’ picks up the theme with the spectral character existing in a half-world slipping into this one as a helper to the singer. The first part of the set closed with a big electric ‘Feeding Time For Monsters’, in which all the band members expand and extend the song, being followed by a lower key ‘For The Living For The Lost’.

HRP and Band - The Beast In The Water Hypnagogia Old Palace London
Photo: Richard Parkinson

Following a short break, the band returned to perform ‘Hypnagogia’ live for the first time.  Opening ‘Mara’ is something of a rocker, while ‘The Beast In The Water’ takes us lyrically and musically into Scandinavian Gothic territory. The penultimate song, ‘Date Night’, is performed in a doo-wop style as Platt narrated the tale of the Finnish death goddess’s night on the town.  Finally, the band exits leaving Platt to perform a solo ‘Blue Lights’ to close out the set.

An enthusiastic crowd brings her back for one more which is, of course, her signature song ‘1954’ performed as movingly as ever.  Overall, an impressive gig with a lot of care taken in putting on a challenging multi-media show.  If she does it again, it’s worth the admission.

Morrissey’s solo acoustic support set, based around his recent EP ‘ Wrong Shades Of Green’ provided a pleasant curtain-raiser and was well received by the crowd.

About Richard Parkinson 85 Articles
London based self-diagnosed music junkie with tastes extending to all points of big tent americana and beyond. Fan of acts and songs rather than genres.
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