Turn It Up! REVIEW: Hannah McIntyre, Simon Boult, Natalie Hall


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Turn It Up! REVIEW: Hannah McIntyre, Simon Boult, Natalie Hall, The Attic at The Railway, Tuesday 25 June.

Sometimes there comes along an evening of music where everyone’s proximity to the artist is so close that you feel you are in their front room.

They are playing their instrument just for you, and you feel you are enjoying the evening amongst friends; you just don’t it want to end. This was one of those evenings.

The Attic is a fantastic venue for getting up close. The music wasn’t loud but it still resonated around the room.

All three acts on stage gave me the impression that this was what they wanted too. Not a busy night, but all who were there were enjoying what they were seeing and hearing.

First up was Natalie Hall, who has the voice of an angel. Her songs are full of love and, er… love lost. I wonder who it is who is on the receiving end of ‘Goodbye Mr Know It All’, or why it’s obviously not over in ‘Can’t Break Away’.

Turn It Up! REVIEW: Hannah McIntyre, Simon Boult, Natalie Hall

I’m delighted to be able to speak to Natalie afterwards and find that music may take a back seat to teaching: “I start my teacher training in September and hope to go on to teach English at a secondary school.

But not music! “When I get back home though, my music is my therapy. I love writing my songs; I’ve been doing it since I was 13, and I really have given it a go. But I need a job! I won’t ever give up the music though, and I will always keep trying.”

Turn It Up! REVIEW: Hannah McIntyre, Simon Boult, Natalie Hall

Natalie was born in Winchester and says she feels like she’s among friends when she’s here.

Natalie Hall Music

No stranger to the city either is Simon Boult, and his blues immediately transported me across the Pond.

I loved it, and I told him so afterwards on his Facebook page. I also loved his guitar-playing partner Matt Isaac, not only for the way he played slide, but also for the way he ‘attacked’ the guitar in other ways. He used it as a beat box too… demanding more from his guitar, demanding the rhythm from his instrument.

Simon Boult Music

And so on to Hannah McIntyre. Back in 1989, we started playing Bonnie Raitt records on the Light FM here in Winchester. It was a bold move; practically no-one played Bonnie Raitt on commercial radio.

Imagine the joy of seeing Hannah McIntyre on stage, and speaking with her afterwards, for her to tell me that not only does she enjoy singing a Bonnie track, but enjoys being lost in her own world while singing the song:

“It was my mum that had a CD of hers; it just gets me deep inside. I don’t know what it is… but I love the lyrics, the instruments and I love singing along.”

Hannah also played a Chris Isaak cover – again influenced by her mum: “She’s amazing. She loves Chris Isaak and she loves other music too. She would probably prefer that I did some Elvis covers (!) but she’s always been there for me.

“I went to a Performing Arts college and I left because I didn’t like the dancing… my mum supported me. I went to work in hotels for five years and my mum supported me… and she was there at every gig.”

Hannah also agrees with my sentiments about The Attic: “I’ve played here when it’s been really busy and I’ve played here when it’s been really quiet. It’s always been really great. It was a great atmosphere tonight.”

Hannah McIntyre Music

First class performances from all three. More please!