NEWS: Laura Stevenson @ Central Bar, Gateshead | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Laura Stevenson provides intelligent, exultant indie pop from Brooklyn. But the diversity of styles and influences (girl group, folk, twee, chamber pop etc.) bouncing off each other resists labeling. Her music is a rich patchwork of guitar, bass, drums brass, accordion and strings sewn together loosely by Stevenson’s voice. A voice that at times is a little saccharine, but moving with disarming ease from sweetness to bitterness and sorrow. Stevenson is touring with her raucous backing band, The Cans, and together they are intoxicating and passionate, completely unpretentious and free from the conceits that plague much contemporary pop music. Fans will get to experience it in full at The Central in Gateshead on Thursday 11th December.

With three albums, Stevenson has a ready well of excellent music to draw from. The best numbers (8:08, The Wait, Runner and, most of all, the tempestuous Master of Art) are lessons in songwriting and performance. Blending concision, clarity and, most effectively, dramatic, moving dynamics; starting small and building to ridiculous, magnificent pitches of irresistible intensity.

These songs sound great on Stevenson’s albums (particularly her last two) but they also sound like they were written to be played live, where their fervor can take shape and expand in front of an audience. Live, and in the intimacy of Gateshead’s Central Bar, the rush of the music should be even more direct and affecting.

Laura Stevenson plays The Central Bar, Gateshead on Thursday 11th December.

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