I love Bella Hardy's music especially songs like Labyrinth and Herring Girl, but had never had the chance to hear her live until last night when she performed at St Pancras Old Church as part of her 'Christmas Tour'. This is a lovely old church although i wasn't convinced of the acoustics: Bella sounded lovely when she was singing softly but as the volume increased there was a harshness about the sound which made her voice sound more nasal than it should.
The set list was eclectic: favourites like the afore mentioned Herring Girl along with new compositions (a song about WWI and one about childhood and Queen Elizabeth the First!) and Christmas pop hits. Her version of Wham's "Last Christmas" was rather brilliant but some of the others were a bit karaoke.
I really liked the two musicians accompanying her: Anna Massey on acoustic guitar and Angus Lyon on keyboards, accordeon and... xylophone (or is the metal one a glockenspiel?). The banter between the three of them was also fun - and pretty educational at times.
Anyhow, had a very good night all round, but think i'd rather see her in at a different venue and doing more of her folk stuff than she did last night.