Sat at a Steinway with her back to a Christmas tree and with the Ulster University audience in front of her perched on rows of purple studded seats the grand room surrounded by wood panelling, Liane Carroll was back in Ireland this time in Derry, in yet another city renowned for music after appearances in Sligo and Galway already this year.
Introduced by trumpeter and Ulster University music lecturer Linley Hamilton, who later joined the Hastings singer who is half-Irish herself, her father hailing from Waterford, on a tender version of ‘Mercy Now’ — “I’ll find you space,” she quipped — her set included a segue from ‘Wild is the Wind’ into a rumbling dark and turbulent ‘Sinnerman.’
Liane mentioned that next week she will be recording ‘Ol’ Man River’ after warming to the Showboat song having been landed last minute with the song at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival as part of an orchestral and big band-themed concert. Her version stripped it right back and gave the words all the time in the world.
She really is a natural: the way she throws her head back, thumps the piano hard, goes full throttle into a scat and yet by set’s end on ‘You Don’t Know Me’ you could hear a pin drop that is until the audience got on to their feet and thundered their appreciation. Super stuff. SG.