Review kindly provided by Lily Foster:
The long-awaited and much-anticipated launch of Claire Hamill’s new album, “The Meeting of the Waters” was a standing-room-only event at FILO, in Hastings.
Claire opened with “Wild Swimming.” This is one she has played solo live for years, and the addition of Phil Hudson on guitar, Edd Blakeley on bass, and Russell Field on drums made the song feel fresh and new. This is my personal favourite Hamill song, so admittedly, starting with this song set my good mood for the evening. Perhaps she knew this well-received song would make everyone in the crowd eager for more.
“The Lily Field” was performed with much joy and gave Claire the opportunity to show off her beautiful high notes. This bouncy number had the audience bobbing and dancing in the crowded pub.
Hearing the introduction to the high-energy “Let’s Chase the Sun” on the cold, drizzling Sunday brought the spirit of the song to the forefront. This was one of the songs in which Claire played guitar while singing, and the marriage of the two guitars actually did create a feeling of deja vu for holidays past.
Although this song is not on the album, hearing Claire perform her song, “Take My Breath Away” (made famous by Eva Cassidy) was nothing short of amazing.
The only song on the album which Claire did not write, “Human,” by The Killers, was an excellent choice for a cover. This song included a haunting chromatic harmonica solo by Jem Turpin.
“Since You’ve Been Gone” is a humourous look at being the one left at home. Performed in a bluesy/jazzy style, this song was obviously enjoyed by her accompanying instrumentalists, who hooted, laughed, and shared amused looks between each other and with Claire herself.
Claire invited any of her “na-na-na” singers in the audience to join her for “Pour Me Out onto the Pavement.” This was obviously an unrehearsed addition to the performance, as she did give them a na-na-na to prepare them for their part. The story behind the song brought laughter from all corners of the pub and the song itself created a feeling of comaraderie, and even the non-na-na-na’s found themselves singing along.
At the request of a few audience members, Claire performed “The Meeting of the Waters,” which appeared to be unrehearsed by the band, only in that it took them a little while to join in, and their contribution was a bit minimal. This song allowed the audience the treat of hearing Claire mostly solo. Phil Hudson obviously rose to the task of providing leading strains in a beautiful and poignant musical interlude.
An excellent choice of final song, “Truth, Beauty and Happiness.” Her beautifully performed, heart-felt vocals left one wishing for at least one more.
What a priviledge to be present for this album launch. Hastings is home to many talented performers, and seeing some of the very best come together for an evening will remain in my memory.
Thanks to Lily for sending us this gig review. If you’d like to send in your own, please contact us here at Pierless Music.
We will be posting a review of ‘The Meeting of the Waters’ over the next few days.