In one of the tiniest theatres, on one of the smallest stages, and playing to a diminutive audience, the petite Amy Odell played a tremendous gig with an intense passion. On the sea front in Margate, at the aptly named Tom Thumb Theatre, Amy delivered a gig in her adopted hometown worthy of a far bigger crowd, but, in the intimate setting to which she had returned, Amy sang her heart out.
For the lucky few who'd procured a ticket for tonight's performance, it was a chance to see Amy perform songs from her first album, 2016's 'Sirens', as well as new material from her yet to be released sophomore album. In the cosy confines of the theatre, amongst the tea lights and burgundy flock wallpaper, the seated audience, in their velveteen flip-up cinema seats, gathered together to enjoy a great evening's entertainment.
Taking to the stage ahead of Amy Odell was Daisy Beau. After a small hiccup (by way of a failing guitar battery) and a quick amendment to the mic, Daisy played out an acoustic and partially a cappella set that was probably only enhanced by her enforced changes. Daisy started with 'Hanging On A Line' and then a song about, amongst other things, squatters and horses called 'Black Horse'. Daisy played her guitar very well throughout, however it was her crisp and beautifully angelic vocal that defined her performance. With a song about online dating, and her love of the Nick Cage and Cher film of the same name, she held her audience with 'Moonstruck' and kept them captivated with her own a cappella composition inspired in part by the Brecon Beacons and then with a great take on The Chieftains classic, 'Raggle Taggle Gypsy'.
After a short break, Amy Odell, accompanied by guitarist Jack, took to the stage of The Tom Thumb Theatre to play a succinct set full of emotive songs that enchanted the modest crowd. Amy book-ended her set with songs from 'Sirens'; firstly the gentle refrain of the title track and then finally 'Aquarius'. In between she treated us to highlights from her ever-growing catalogue of songs, including some very impressive new material. The first high point of the set was delivered early on as Amy played her latest, atmospheric and cinematic single 'Put That Gun Down'. The DFL (Down From London) singer-songwriter, artist and poet was completely at ease and at home in her new town as she delighted the local contingent to her particular blend of Alt-Folk.
Odell's first new track from her forthcoming album was 'Something'. She and Jack played counter-parts to each other with a wonderfully intertwined guitar arrangement as Amy's distinctive high vocal soared above. Jack's slide guitar and Amy's deft plucking produced a harmonious mix of sound that perfectly complemented Odell's laidback vocal. Amy put down her guitar as she returned to her debut album. This track is "from a strange time in my life, it's about what I was feeling at the time" she explained before breaking into 'Black Crow'. The brooding and moody magnificence of the slowly building track worked wonderfully in the close confines of the TTT.
Perhaps the best of Amy Odell's songs on the night was performed, fittingly, towards the end of her set. Taking another track from the second album, Amy delivered arguably her most polished and commanding performance of the night with 'Roll The Dice'. The highly charged, cinematic song recounting a road trip was very evocative and full of fantastic imagery (watch out for this soundtracking some alternative Deep South Netflix detective drama before the year's out). Amy's final track from her first album, and her latest single's B-Side, 'Aquarius', was a haunting and beguiling end to a set over all too quickly.
In keeping with the ideology of both P.T. Barnum and Bobby Womack, Amy Odell left her audience wanting more in a venue where less is most certainly more. Odell's performance highlighted the quality of her songs and the individuality and character in her fabulously evocative vocal. We await the new album with high hopes and great anticipation.
American Thighs was released on this day in 1994.