Chastity Brown at The Borderline, London

Raw, emotive vocalist charms in London

Photo: Michael Hingston

The Borderline is one of those small, some would say intimate – with good cause – clubs in central London that has hosted many of music’s greats from Rambling Jack Elliott to Jarvis Cocker and Elvis Costello over the years. On June 13, young US singer-songwriter Chastity Brown turned up in town pushing her latest Red House album, Silhouette of Sirens, to a warm, welcoming crowd who benefitted from her full-on, roaring throttle set and sheer, clear class and quality.

This lady sure can sing: a wonderful voice, raw and emotive, soulful and searching, passionate and nuanced in turns as she ripped through a set that was the ending to an excellent night of truly memorable music. Brown’s strength and confident self-assurance showed as she set off with a huge voice and driving rhythmic fretwork, delivering a set that was pretty much as powerful and polished as her studio release, despite the lack of sidemen and studio gizmos. This was soul-cum-rock-cum-blues pitched damn near perfectly and delivered with class and poise.

Photo: Michael Hingston

Opening act and support billing went to a young UK duo, Ray Hughes and Sian Chandler, aka the Black Feathers, who turned in a delightful, melodic and tight-harmonied modern Americana set based around their own compositions and current album, Soaked To The Bone. As a warm-up act, they were more than capable and ensured the place was already buzzing by the time Brown herself appeared clutching her guitar.

For me, Brown’s current CD, Silhouette of Siren,s is clearly an album of the year and Brown’s live performance here simply cemented that belief. A wonderful night of great music performance from a young lady who must surely be going places real fast.

—Iain Patience

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