(Dome Stage, Snape Maltings, 12 August 2022. Part of Summer at Snape. Review by Bruce Lindsay)
There’s a welcome early-evening breeze blowing across the River Alde, cooling audience and performers alike as Rosie Frater-Taylor and her band – bass guitarist Dave Edwards and drummer Tom Potter – take to Snape Maltings’s Dome Stage for a free concert at this most beautiful of venues. The open-air setting, bright blue sky and relaxed atmosphere provide an excellent environment for entertainment and the singer-guitarist’s light but thoughtful brand of music is soon being warmly appreciated by the crowd.
Across the hour-long set, Frater-Taylor performed songs from each of her two albums, and a couple of yet-to-be-recorded songs that she’s recently added to her repertoire. Frater-Taylor’s songs evoke memories of great singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell or Janis Ian, but her performance style and use of solid-bodied electric guitar and effects gives her songs more of a jazz vibe, emphasised by her favouring of passages of wordless vocalising in unison with intricate single note guitar phrases.
The trio opened with “Better Days,” from 2021’s Bloom, then moved on to a new song, “Falling Fast,” with some of the set’s more complex rhythms to the fore. On “Hey” some of Frater-Taylor’s playing brought Bill Frisell to mind, while the waltz-time “In a Dream” featured her most delicate vocals of the night.
A cover of Seal’s “Crazy,” apparently inspired by Alanis Morissette’s version from the soundtrack of The Devil Wears Prada, proved to be less emotionally intense than the original, but just as musically strong thanks to the groove laid down by Potter and Edwards.
Frater-Taylor closed the set with a solo performance of a new song, “Stop Running.” “Right now,” she announced, “I couldn’t tell you what it’s about.” Despite this uncertainty, this was one of the best of the evening’s songs and one of her most energetic performances.
After this gig, the trio are due to play three dates in Germany (Cologne as part of the festival; Ilmenau near Erfurt; the opening night of Musikfest Bremen) and to start recording for Frater-Taylor’s third album: on the evidence of this concert, its release should be eagerly awaited.
LINKS: Rosie Frater-Taylor’s website
Bookings for Rosie Frater-Taylor Big Band at Woolwich Works in the EFG LJF
Categories: Live review
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