Hannah Schneider, St Pancras Old Church, London, June 11 2015
St Pancras Old Church always looks beautiful, whether it be in the depths of winter and you’re lining up in the cold outside or, if like today, it’s a beautiful summer’s evening. But the fading orange light during the summer gives a very different vibe to the full darkness illuminated only with street lamps of winter.
Inside, the light spills across the empty floor. All the chairs have been removed except for some placed along the walls and some lit candles add to the vibe. People are chatting and smoking outside in the sunshine but when Hannah Schneider takes to the stage / altar, they quickly pile in.
Hannah is on tour in support of her third album, ‘Red Lines‘, her first to get a proper release in the UK and this is final date of her tour. Red Lines is a well produced album, with full sounding pop songs. Tonight, however, Hannah is playing solo using 2 vocal microphones, a keyboard and enough loop and effects pedals that many guitarists would kill for.
When an album sounds as lush as Red Lines, it can be hard to even come close to that sound. Schneider cleverly builds each song with layers of samples and vocals, giving new life to the songs. Watching Hannah piece each song together is hypnotic and by the end of the opening track ‘For The Trees’, there are murmurs from the attentive audience noting just how good Schneider is.
Schneider easily makes friends with the crowd with her in between song banter. She describes ‘Dreaming Kind’ as a football anthem for sensitive types. She claims that she’s touring solo due to the economic crisis. Then as she produces an electric ukulele to play ‘Life is Easy’, she tells of how her friends asked why she couldn’t just play a guitar ‘like a normal person’, which raises a laugh.
She finishes off her set with two tracks from her self titled first album. When the bass kicks in in ‘This is Goodbye’, it makes a security light rattle in the fourth century church. ‘Raindrops’, the final song of the evening fills the holy place with beats, bass sounds and layered harmonised vocals, everything perfectly in place, finished off with the addition of a stylophone.
A really good performance from Hannah, a nice introduction to her catalogue of music and going on the audience reaction, new fans gained. If anything, she should have had a longer set. But you know the saying ‘Leave them wanting more’, yeap, she did that.