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Review: Nerina Pallot, Hall Two, Sage Gateshead

The singer songwriter brought her soaring vocals and fit-to-burst back catalogue to Tyneside as Michael Telfer reports

Tommy Reynolds Photography Singer/songwriter Nerina Pallot
Singer/songwriter Nerina Pallot

Contrition might not be something you’d necessarily expect from a music concert, but London-born singer songwriter Nerina Pallot wasted no time last night in apologising to the crowd in the Sage’s Hall Two for leaving it so long between visits to the North East.

In the seven years since she last headlined a gig in the region she has produced two studio albums and a son, whose flowering feminism she described during one of the several congenial chats she had with the appreciative audience over the course of the night.

Each song or segment of the performance was introduced with a brief but always entertaining bit of back-story or banter with the band, and in the case of some of her newer, a side of gratitude to the assembled crowd for allowing her to try new things.

The new songs have been coming thick and fast in 2014 as Nerina has kept her New Year’s resolution to write, record and release a new EP every month during the year.

Tommy Reynolds Photography Singer/songwriter Nerina Pallot
Singer/songwriter Nerina Pallot

This seemed like a great idea last Christmas, but as she told the crowd she’ll be pleased when the twelfth mini-collection is done and dusted next month.

The haunting title track from the latest EP Spirit Walks was one of the new songs she mixed into the set alongside more established tunes like Put Your Hands Up, Buckminster Fuller and a moving performance of her song about British troops History Boys, which took on extra poignancy given the concert’s calendar proximity to Remembrance Sunday.

Nerina alternated between singing solo on piano or acoustic guitar, and performing with her band for whom this was a special night as the last date on the UK tour.

The venue perfectly suited Pallot’s soaring vocals and hopefully the warm appreciation from the crowd at the end will encourage her not to leave it so long before coming back to the region again.

Michael Telfer


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