LIVE REVIEW: Devon Sproule @ Cluny | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Paul Curreri 

Support comes from labelmate Baby Copperhead, whose daring combination of banjo, loop pedals, and a voice straight out of some forgotten 60s folk album, is music to lull you away to a long summer evening under endless skies. The choice to cover ‘Ashes To Ashes’ is a good one; his voice has that sudden warmth that Bowie possessed, and his spacey percussion loops are something else.

Opening with Feather Over and some other songs written during her recent pregnancy,Devon Sproule’s lyrics are as kodak-sharp as ever, and the slow drama of Chris Cindy’s alto sax underpins them beautifully. Onstage, she’s as warm, esoteric, and openhearted as her ouvre suggests. You Can’t Help It sounds perfect live, Sproule’s voice floating out natural as a bird. Several cuts from latest LP The Gold String follow; the live arrangements are spare and precise, and a great foil to Sproule’s gloriously rootsy and unpretentious vocals, backed by bassist Rory Haye’s choir-honed harmonies. Watching Sproule, it’s as if the song has flown from her lips rather than her forcing it into play. A sublime cover of Leon Russell’s Superstar has the audience enraptured – Sproule’s voice was made for the half-dreamy, half-stalking nature of the song, and Cindy’s piercing saxophone sobs are perfect punctuation. Every musician tonight remarks on the sheer quality of the sound. It’s deep,well-balanced, and pin-sharp, accentuating a magical encore which begins with an a capella In Front Of Your Loved Ones, just Sproule’s vocals, foot-stomps, and finger-snaps. One from the heart.


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