HANNAH IN THE WARS @ The Twisted Pepper (06-06-2015)

A wonderful Saturday evening of live music in Dublin last night left us spoiled for choice it must be said and our first port of call tonight was The Twisted Pepper to catch this very impressive New Zealand band for the Dublin leg of their Irish tour. Also playing support on the night was Strabane artist Lauren Bird.

HITW 1This trip got it all underway with ‘Infidel’. What is found on the rhythm here carefully drags the ethereal closeness across, but it retains a somewhat bespoke and solemn quality in equal measure. What is also a very clever application in the performance is the candid measure of the vocals that are highly attentive in how they add a solid sense of resolve to everything on a collective level. Their second track ‘Rearview Mirror Baby’ brought a good kick. That showed in the calculated way that the playing bursts provide for the handling. Alongside that the latent sensibilities are also kept in check which are tellingly defined. That control on show adds a noted sense of regal front that adequately tees up the textured way it is all delivered. Another fine trait to be mentioned is how the violin on this one also leaves its mark.

By now they were very much coming into their own and it showed with third song ‘Sweet Release’. As it opens there is a solitary guitar chord at work that is very much on the money. As the violin comes to pass you note the broader showing and it is industrious enough to bring a Fleetwood Mac comparison here. The clean weight is an astute calling that guides the tempo. There is also a lovely touch conferred upon it from the vocals of Hannah Curwood that shows an earnest endeavour that is industrious. As a result you also sense there is more to the lyrics because of this and the high pitch also ramps it up considerably. ‘Animal’ was a new song that has recently been included int heir live set. Trading off the languish of the guitar seduces you here. That revered calling breaks away neatly and how it toils away is favourably executed. This is a knowing point of note that makes you take in the appreciation show that little bit more. There is a commendable and fashionable trait to this band that they do well. That is the way they allow the lingering qualities in their sound to hang off their performance. It shows all the more with ‘Burning Through The Night’. This is present in a highly abundant way and the degree of conviction smartly breaks it all down. The outline allows for this. The solemn degree of conviction is there by design as much as the hardened pace in the showing. Brought through by the running, there is a pique in the string arrangement that also works in an encouraging way.

HITW 2They adjust their style with ‘Glory’. Initially it opens with a punk feel but that then slowly comes to pass in a euphoric shoegazer way. That is good departure and the tapered showing is cleanly brought to pass. Vocally there is something impressive in the range because it doesn’t become too demanding. As such the comfortable style is imposed in a practical fashion. Sandwiched in between their closing number was a version of ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’ and this cover of the Cilla Black classic had a clever pastiche to it from how it was styled. They closed out with ‘Only Want To Be’ and there is a lot of value to be found in the lyrics. It finds something educated that carefully calls the shots. How the delivery is built around this allows the relative consideration of the emotive worth to spill out in the live showing. That intricately holds its own and the shared vocals are rather tidy to also see everything right.


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