The Green Note, Camden, London
This gig redefined what a tight band is. The Honeycutters are without doubt musically a very tight unit, but the meaning was squared at The Green Note as they performed on a stage that tends to look crowded when there is an acoustic duo playing, never mind a five piece band. Just fitting a drum kit, pedal steel and a keyboard on to it was a logistical nightmare, squeezing the musicians to play them plus a bassist and Amanda on there was a minor miracle.
This was my first time seeing Amanda and her band live. I discovered her music last year just a couple of weeks after she had played here, I was somewhat downhearted to find out.
Given that my favourite album of 2017 was the eponymous Amanda Ann Platt & The Honeycutters and also given my disappointment with last year’s near miss of the opportunity to catch them live, this gig was long anticipated and my expectations were pretty high.
So overcrowded stage notwithstanding, this was a night that left me, my wife and the audience grinning form ear to ear come the final encore.
The first half especially was centred on last years album, which was absolutely fine with me, given I was yet to hear any songs from the band live. As with the album, the set opened with Birthday and others such as Long Ride and Eden followed.
Amanda acknowledged her love of Aretha Franklin with a appropriately soulful version of Do Right Woman, which preceded raids on her back catalogue and the introduction of a few new songs.
Learning How To Love Him opens the second set. Amanda and her her guitar diving into this tale of enduring love approaching its end. It is incredibly beautiful and moving, sad and life affirming at the same time.
The final song of the first set was a new one Calle 18 Wheels Of Fire and the second song after the break is called Burn, all of which we are told turned out to be prophetic with the demise of the band’s ancient van which inexplicably caught fire on the journey home after a gig.
The second set contains much more old material – but some like the excellent title track from the first Honeycutters album Irene, which on the night was completely new to me but still sounded brilliant. Testament to the depth of high quality material – that sounds so dry – they are fabulous, moving songs about life, death, love and its loss and all the other things that make up life.
Amanda Ann Platt are touring the UK for the next few weeks. Yorkshire seems unusually blessed with a series of gigs.
Check out the dates via this link – http://www.honeycutters.com/tour/.
If you like Americana you’ll love it. It you like Country Rock you’ll love it even more. Even if you don’t think you’re a fan but love good music I urge you to go.
It’s a glorious night out. Guaranteed.
Mostly old, but a late influx of young people slashed the average age. A very good gender balance.
It made me think..
I’m not sure why a reviewer would think Amanda sounds like Sheryl Crow (as on the gig poster) but she is redolent of so many great singers so you should go and find out whom she brings to your mind