Live Review: Lady Nade + Simeon Hammond Dallas, St Thomas the Martyr Church, Bristol 20th October 2022

Lady Nade Bristol 2022

After a long wait to tour her excellent album ‘Willing’, this was a triumphant homecoming show for Lady Nade. Having moved to a larger venue to meet the demand for tickets, this eighteenth century church turned out to be the ideal space for her soulful voice.

She describes ‘Willing’ as “a collection of stories of friendship, love and loneliness; lost and found.” And she shared parts of the inspiration behind those songs as well as some from its predecessor ‘Safe Place’ throughout the evening. Playing ‘Natalie’ with the person it was written about in the room, and talking about ‘Wildfire,’ a song for her grandfather, highlighted the deeply personal nature of her songs. ‘One Sided’ and the bluesy shuffle of ‘Complicated’ are among many favourites played tonight. In fact the set list makes up a pretty good “best of – so far” of her career. She has been playing Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s ‘My Journey To The Skyfor a while now. Nade is more than equal to any vocal comparison with Sister Rosetta, and it was one of the high points of the show. She has recorded it and hopefully it will see a release soon. Lady Nade’s voice is a thing of beauty. She hasn’t yet captured the power and soul of it completely on record, ‘Willing‘ is very close, but to hear her at her best, see Lady Nade live.

Her excellent band, guitarist, Sean Snook, pedal steel & guitar player, Holly Carter, and bassist, Dan Everett have all been playing with her for some time. They never over play, Snook and Carter took a brief solo each, and their harmonies, notably on opener ‘One Of Us’ are the ideal complement for their leader’s voice, filling the chilly venue with warmth. The contrast between the Soul and Blues base of her voice and the more Americana feel of the backing give Lady Nade a unique sound. She has found a winning formula in this band and sound.

The first encore was Lady Nade’s recent single with Boo Hewerdine, ‘Echo’. She used this as an opportunity to focus on the other members of the band. They each sang a verse, along with support act Simeon Hammond Dallas. Hammond Dallas had opened with songs taken from her two EPs and if Lady Nade’s star has risen, she will not be far behind. Filling the room with just her voice and acoustic guitar she has some fine songs that she calls a “folky bluesy country-soul amalgamation”, most notable on ‘Wild Woman’ and ‘A Hundred Lovers’. Having been on the receiving end of the music industry at its worst, this tour will have won her plenty of new fans. Another great singer and and you can see why Lady Nade picked Hammond Dallas to tour with her. A duet between them would be interesting.

With a room filled with friends, family, and long-term fans this was never going to be hard crowd to please for Lady Nade, but she put everything into her performance as she has every time I’ve seen her. After playing in Nashville recently with a high-profile support gig with Alison Russell, the world is discovering just how good Lady Nade’s songs and voice are. Looking forward to album number four.

Lady Nade Set List:

  1. One Of Us
  2. Willing
  3. Looking for Love
  4. Natalie
  5. One Sided
  6. Wildfire
  7. Ain’t One Thing
  8. My Journey To the Sky
  9. Complicated
  10. Last Dance
  11. Echo
  12. Safe Place

About Tim Martin 247 Articles
Sat in my shed listening to music, and writing about some of it. Occasionally allowed out to attend gigs.
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