If you’ve followed Belles and Gals from the start, you’ll know exactly how impressed we are with Hannah Rose Platt, the London based, Liverpudlian singer songwriter. In my opinion, Hannah is possibly the best songwriter we have on these shores and the delivery of those songs is absolutely perfect, so good that I don’t think any other singer could do them justice. It was my first time at the Green Note too and I’d heard so many good things about the venue, that this only made me more excited about the night.
The gig was a double header with Kevin Pearce, the alternative folk singer songwriter from Essex and it has to be said that his set was impressive. I’d certainly recommend going to see him, as he commands the stage with his emotional, high quality material, while almost in contrast, his chat between the songs will have you laughing out loud. I would delve deeper into his set, but as the website is called Belles and Gals, unless Kevin has a tricky and somewhat delicate operation, he’ll not be a feature of the site (sorry Kevin!)
Upon walking into the venue Hannah was actually the first person I saw and it was great to meet her in person after featuring her so prominently on the site and it has to be said that she is a really lovely lady. I found myself a table and after a couple of drinks and a couple of tweets, I went to the bar just before the set and Hannah was there too – ‘Do you get nervous?’ I asked her and she replied ‘Yes! But in a good way’ and a few minutes later she stepped onto the stage.
Now if you haven’t been to the Green Note before, I should tell you about the venue. It reminds me of a European café in some ways, a small stage in the corner with tables scattered around, a candle on each of the tables. It’s one of the most intimate venues you’ll find in London and I have to say that I’ll be heading there again and again, even at the furthest point you are no more than ten yards away from the stage.
Hannah stepped up looking fantastic wearing a black dress with her long blonde hair flowing down, the red lighting of the venue casting a perfect sheen over the stage. She was accompanied by the ‘two Ryans’ – Ryan Williams who would swap between the Mandolin and the guitar and Ryan Trebilcock on the double bass at the back, both of whom were tremendous at their art. Hannah opened with ‘Temptress’, the opening line ‘Her hair is devil red’ perfect considering the lighting. It was clear immediately that Hannah’s voice is as every bit as good as I hoped from hearing her wonderful ‘Portraits’ album. Next up was Daughter, which Hannah explained was a song which she wrote about her relationship with her stepfather.
The third song on the set was the only one I hadn’t heard before. ‘Brooklyn New York’ was about an Irish immigrant writing home. I was particularly taken by this and I certainly can’t wait to hear it on a record. ‘Dancer’ was next and this was really interesting to me, as when I listen I imagine the waitress who is at the centre of the song working in a place exactly like the Green Note, so it seemed entirely fitting.
‘You Don’t Know Jack’ was incredible, Hannah’s stripped down version of the song breathtaking – although while watching I was actually getting to know Jack myself. This was followed by Yellow Roses, another emotional song, this time about Hannah’s grandmother. Before each song Hannah would give a little bit of background about the writing, which is always a nice touch at a gig, adding a little extra to each of the songs.
The brilliant ‘1954’ was next up, a beautifully crafted song about a lady with Dementia and the song I was most excited about hearing. And yes, it was every bit as good as I had hoped. The set finished with ‘Half Way Home’, another highlight for me and that disappointing feeling that a gig has ended was about to set in. Fortunately there were shouts of ‘One more, one more!’ and we got our wish!
The encore was a performance of ‘Hello Central Give me Heaven’. I have to say, this was absolutely stunning, everyone in the room completely captivated by it. This made for a perfect end to a great gig and the rapturous applause at the end was fully deserved, nobody clapping harder than me.
When you really like an artist on record, you always hope that the live performance will match to up to it. Liking the record as much as I do, Hannah had a lot to live up to! But I have to say she was brilliant and I genuinely can’t wait to see her live again.