Live: Harry Pane @ Live at the Roof Gardens, Kensington, London.
A cold and dark January is never an easy pill to swallow. The festivities are over for another year and it’s inevitable to feel rather gloomy about the weeks stretching ahead.
Unless, that is, you climb way up to the top of the stairs (or take the lift) to one of London’s most extraordinary landmarks and go up on the roof. The Roof Gardens in Kensington has an impressive garden terrace setting (with actual pink flamingos in residence) and offers a classy substitute to some of the more customary live music venues.
The award-winning Live At The Roof Gardens series returns for 2016 to showcase emerging talent and the launch event was hosted by Success Express Music and supported by Time Out London. With a superb line-up including Basheba, The Paperboats and Bradley, it was folk/blues singer-songwriter Harry Pane who opened the proceedings with impact.
With his trademark emotive voice and acoustic guitar he kicked off his set with an accomplished cover of Jamie N Commons’ Lead Me Home and quickly engaged the audience with his powerful, punchy sound.
Pane’s first EP Real Souls was championed by BBC Introducing London and swiftly gathered online recognition. His second track of the evening, Ghosts, is from that debut and was introduced as “a song about growing up in a small town but wanting to do more”. “Like drink beer” he followed up with a grin, as he raised his bottle to the intimate crowd in a genial signal of cheers and they laughed and head-nodded along appreciatively.
Hazy Eyes was “written about someone close to me who lost their mind… which is nice and upbeat” he said cheerfully before performing the captivating track with guitar riffs and a haunting melody that stays with you long after it has finished.
Last year Pane played the O2 Priority Lounge ahead of Fleetwood Mac and is already well-known for his cover of Big Love that showcases his impressive and powerfully raw voice. He delivered a stomping, pulsating version that perfectly complimented the hammering rain beating down on the overhead canvas and made the verdant interior shake dramatically.
One of the stand out tracks from the debut is Real Souls, which was performed with note-perfect delivery. Pane performs effortlessly, the strength and range of his voice doesn’t falter and this didn’t go unnoticed amongst the crowd that had got noticeably bigger as each track went on and were listening attentively.
Pane has been busy recording songs for his upcoming and eagerly awaited sophomore EP, and Cold Light of Day is one of the songs that has had a pre-release live reveal over the past few months. It’s an instantly likeable track, which makes ample use of the stomp board that forms a strong part of Pane’s performance and the crowd were treated to a slide guitar that created a bluesy, glissando effect.
Soon it was time for Pane’s set to end and for the next act featured on the evening’s line-up, The Paperboats, to take to the stage and have their moment (they began their set by telling the crowd “Harry was wicked”). Pane lifted his beer once more to the crowd and said his thanks and goodbyes before exiting the stage with a modest smile.
The rain may have kept those famous pink flamingos away, but it was another outstanding set from Harry Pane to annihilate the January blues.
Live Review by Nicola Greenbrook and Photography by Rachel Lipsitz.
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Nicola Greenbrook is a writer and blogger and has her website Material Whirl here: http://www.materialwhirlblog.com/
Rachel Lipsitz is a wonderful portrait and live music photographer and has her own website here: http://www.littletrousers.com/