This is my third visit to the Hanover Community Centre this year. Last time I was there was a few weeks ago for the Hanover Beer Festival, and back in the summer I was there for a non-Christian christening type affair. It’s not your usual live music venue. That didn’t put people off though, with the room full to the brim before anyone had even played a note.
First up were Do You Feel What I Feel Deer, a folk duo augmented with violin, a smaller arrangement than when I saw them supporting Mice Parade a couple of weeks ago. Their tight harmonies held the room, and the song themselves felt at the same time both progressive yet timeless. The audience was spellbound, as was I.
The second support was Crayola Lectern, whose album The Fall and Rise of Crayola Lectern is due early next year. Crayola Lectern don’t write normal songs – their tracks don’t follow a verse / chorus / verse structure, and can sometimes stretch for ten minutes as different turns are taken. There’s humour, but they aren’t a novelty act, and some songs convey an astonishing level of tenderness and emotion just with the music. There aren’t really words that can truly describe Crayola Lectern. They’re completely without comparison ; brave and individual, and while they confused some of the audience, they should be applauded for doing their own thing.
Finally it was time for Mary Hampton Cotillion. She could call the additional musicians that joined her her band, but they felt a bit more special than that. Seeing Mary Hampton live is an amazing experience normally, but with a band she takes things to another level, bringing in rich harmonies and lush arrangements. Their set felt like it was over too soon, taking in around half a dozen folk songs which sounded like they could have been written at any point in the last five hundred years, including last years single Honey in the Rock, and a brand new track which the band spent the previous day recording. It was beautiful. And while it could be argued that it was a short set, nobody in the room could have felt short changed with such great night.