This month’s Bleeding Hearts Club fell on a bank holiday, which threw me a bit off kilter. Normally the timings work out quite nicely for me to come home from work of an evening, have a spot of dinner, and then head out to the Albert, but what with it feeling like a Sunday my timings were all out, and I missed out on all of this month’s first act Tandy Hard and most of Davo. Oops!
Thankfully the last two acts of the night were both amazing. Jane Bartholomew was positively magical – Beautiful yet fragile tunes backed with lush arrangements on accordion, violin, drums, guitar and autoharp, with a voice reminiscent of Joanna Newsom stripped of the cloying annoyingness.
Headliners Crayola Lectern are cut from a different cloth to most bands. Disregarding the normal constraints of verses, choruses, and for the most part vocals, Crayola Lectern are more a contemporary pianist act than a traditional band. Piano is augmented by trumpet, sometimes played normally, and other times used to create the effect of heavy breathing or snoring. Piles of percussion are spread across the stage and played seemingly at random, although I suspect that actually everything is perfectly choreographed. The rule book was left at the door. As wilfully independent as the setup of the band is, it’s not at the expense of accessibility – their songs are warm and engaging and intelligent and funny. By the end of the evening the whole room was smiling – entertained and inspired by a band who are prepared to be a bit different.