LIVE REVIEW: Ani Sandwith @ Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle (21.09.18) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Jonathan Coll

An otherwise dreary Friday night offered up an exciting, emerging musician performing in a Newcastle institution. The Alphabetti Theatre’s little details make it an enjoyable place to spend an evening; from the dog’s bed nestled next to the bar and the stacked bookshelves to the silhouetted tree branch, backlit by the streetlights outside, which frames the stage.

The intimacy of Ani Sandwith’s surroundings were complimented by the intimacy of her performance. She covered 10CC’s I’m Not in Love with aplomb, and finished her set with a stunning rendition of Radiohead’s Creep, though it was her own material which shone brightest. Her original pieces knitted together her dextrous piano skills and powerful singing voice.  You And Me and What Are We Fighting For are genuinely beautiful pieces of music.

Certain songs had been written for the guitar and adapted for the piano, but not that you’d notice. Ani is something of a throwback to the most well-rounded and talented of artists, the sort that the more cynical among us would have you think the UK doesn’t really produce anymore.  It turns out it does, and they’re often hidden right under your nose.

She was equally engaging each time she surrendered the piano and chatted to her audience. Writing a beautiful song is impressive enough, but Ani’s brief interactions with the crowd gave the songs depth; it’s always lovely to hear how an idea became a reality. This was the region’s modern music scene at its absolute best.


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