Gig review: ALEX HART – The Heights, St George’s Hotel, London, 2 April 2014

Alex Hart Showcase - BBC Club, London, 2 April 2014

Alex Hart is the kind of artist who might just make you re-appraise the view that A&R reps are an extinct breed in this post youtube age.

She’s a breathe of fresh air who radiates presence with thoughtful songs, effortless phrasing and a percussive guitar style with subtle chord changes and bolstered by a stomp box for good measure.

Last year’s collaboration with Electronic Youth on a cover of Angie Stone’s ‘I Wish I Didn’t Miss You’ hit the Music Week Club Charts and led to radio plays, and hearing her tonight it’s evident she’s got her own material to match her nascent profile.

Tonight is a showcase in front of the industry guests and esteemed song writers and performers such as John Otway.

Alex Hart Showcase - BBC Club, London, 2 April 2014

Universal have snapped her up on the Right Track imprint and while tonight is all about the imminent release of her ‘Orange Van’ single (played at the conclusion of this 4 song set) there’s also an album in the pipeline, of which ‘Bad Boy Bill’ – ‘a death sing I wrote just before Xmas’ – is a stand out melody with an uplifting vocal.

‘Keeping Britain Tidy’ is another impressive song, albeit it is penned by her guitarist Barney Dine and has the kind of metaphorical theme that infuses David Lynch’s deconstruction of suburbia.

She accepted a rapturous reception with good grace, asking, ‘why can’t you come to every gig?’

And so the single ‘Orange Van’, the kind of song with an infectious rhythm, precise diction and a sweeping melody, that probably stirred record company interest in the first place. It sweeps along and has a lovely emphatic, concluding lyric; ‘I remember thinking this could be it’.

Alex Hart is a singer songwriter who shapes her emotions into well crafted songs. You could argue she’s in the right place at the right time, after all her KT Tunstall leanings and an almost wistful feel, fit perfectly into the contemporary introspective singer songwriter landscape.

Then again it’s a crowded market place and as tonight’s show suggests, it’s her beguiling blend of voice, melody and heartfelt lyrics that make her well placed to grace mainstream radio.

Review by Pete Feenstra
Poster and trio portrait by Swifty

Alex Hart Showcase - BBC Club, London, 2 April 2014

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