INTIMATE AND WONDERFUL PERFORMANCE FROM IRISH SINGER-SONGWRITER GEMMA HAYES
Gemma talks juggling recording and an unexpected "bun in the oven"
Gemma Hayes @ The Islington
Tipperary’s Gemma Hayes played an intimate and frankly pretty sublime gig to a lucky crowd at Islington's inventively-titled "The Islington" venue. Weaving her own blend of ‘alternative rock, indie rock and folk’ (as Wikipedia has it) magic, Gemma’s stories and songs transported this correspondent far away from the gloomy North London surroundings. Part of a small series of performances as Gemma steps – we hope – back into the limelight, the set showcased tracks from the forthcoming, as yet untitled, 2014 LP.
Having celebrated the birth of her first child a mere three months prior, Gemma was in fine fettle, evidently enjoying a night out with the band – and playing with energy, charm and an understated confidence. We were told by Gemma that the "bun in the oven" – latterly entitled “Max” – appeared, somewhat unexpectedly, halfway through the recording of the new album, so providing additional vitality and perspective to the process.
Gemma's new songs include "Palomino" and "To Be Your Honey” and combine familiar and unfamiliar melodies and themes – we are reminded that Gemma’s style has described as one “capturing the contemplative melancholia of the darkness before the dawn”. We certainly look forward to the new album.
If this correspondent correctly recalls, the set also included, “Keep Running” and “Shock To My System” from 2011’s “Let It Break”, “Happy Sad” from “The Roads Don't Love You” (2005), and “Back of My Hand” from Gemma’s 2002 debut LP “Night on My Side”. Fantastic songs all. If all of that wasn’t enough, Gemma and company were evidently in no great hurry to leave The Islington, as they were happy to chat music (and babies) with the guests, and even to indulge this stunned correspondent with a photograph.
Photo credit: https://twitter.com/Mr_Cardellino