We’ve been loving the Ellie Ford ‘Show Night In’ EP for a while, but after a couple of superb compilations the excellent Hidden Trail Records are putting it out as their first physical artiste release. It was launched last night at Brighton’s Red Roaster Cafe and we were there to enjoy a great night of some of the UK’s finest singer-songwriters.
First up was Stevie Ray Latham, a young folkswinger who completely inhabits the spirit of a young Bob Dylan circa1963 but writes his own brilliant songs which he conveys with real aplomb. Songs like the excellent South Coast Blues show off his authentic style. His new album on Brighthelmstone’s At The Helm records is due out soon and is definitely going to be a cracker, and we hope to bring you more info on that in due course.
Kelly Oliver was new to me. An out-of-towner, from Stevenage, this was her first gig in Brighton. We’re not supposed to mention the non-Brighton folk so I won’t dwell too long on just how excellent she was, but she’s played the Cambridge Folk festival and with Dave Swarbrick of Fairport Convention and judging from last night she’s going to be a big hit on the folk scene. Last night we were particularly taken by her song Grandpa was a Stoker and her cover of Beyonce’s If I were a Boy.
Headliner for the night was Brighton’s own Ellie Ford and she completely owned the small Redroaster stage, switching with ease between guitar and harp, claiming to have not played her EP for a while with typical flaky charm, then proceeding to play some magnificent soulful versions of the EP’s songs that held the packed room rapt. The songs sound even better to me live than on record, but particularly stunning in both forms was Low, which tonight was performed in a tentative heartful rendition that was quite stunning. There were also some new songs from the album-in-the-making which we really hope to hear before the year is out.
Ellie has also just released a ‘Covers project’ and show cased some of those tunes and a few others, two gorgeous Joanna Newsom songs, a Karen Dalton cover, a fantastic version of Bob Dylan’s Corrina Corrina, and ending with an unplanned encore of a beautiful interpretation of Dylan’s Buckets of Rain.
A terrific singer who is growing in confidence with every gig, Ellie is definitely one to watch.
Words and pictures were by Jon Southcoasting