LIVE REVIEW: Elaine Palmer, The Breeze @ Waiting Room, Eaglescliffe (12.05.24) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Just back from an American tour, Elaine Palmer was previewing her brand new album, Half Moon Rising, also recorded in the USA with notable producer Mike Butler. With family in Arizona as well her native North Yorkshire, Elaine has always drawn on influences from both sides of the Atlantic; you might say she could have been made for Americana. Playing a set featuring all eight tracks played in order, it is fair to say the audience were absolutely enraptured. There were folk tales aplenty, but also heartache and heartbreak in those kicking country tunes.

Elaine was ably supported by The Breeze who bring their Irish country and warm psychedelic vibes across from the Northern part of Ireland. Lead vocals are traded back and forth between the two guitarists, a seated baritone and the standing Neil Young type laid-back proponent. Most of the material appeared to be drawn from the band’s debut album release, Thin Ground. Some beautiful lilting country songs between more atmospheric instrumental passages were perfect for Sunday listening. On this showing it will be an album well worth checking out.

Talking of album listening, Elaine stepped forward for an impromptu Breeze finale fronting the band through Mazzy Starr’s Fade Into You. It was a stunning way to segue into the main act; Elaine Palmer presenting Half Moon Rising with Luke (drums) and Pete (guitar). Elaine’s powerful yet expressive voice has matured wonderfully and her songwriting has never sounded stronger. Album opener Heart and Soul is country with a capital C, but the folk roots are never far from the surface either. North Yorkshire myths are woven into the fabric of the tempestuous and tragical Freeborough Hill, a title named after an enigmatic conical shaped eminence on the North York Moors. Youth is wasted on the young, was Elaine’s message before embarking on the catchy On The Way Up. This will be the next single release. The Last Dance is a breathless and moving end song that leaves a poignant aftertaste.

After the new album songs Elaine tugged at our heartstrings with a fitting finale, a tribute to the ghosts and the glories of her riverside childhood Mill House home. Enchanting and entrancing; a wonderful Sunday at the Waiting Room and Half Moon Rising will be a new album at the top of my must buy list.

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