Live show review from the borderline, london - fetea magazine

Borderline Review

Minutes before Corinne West took to the stage at The Borderline, one of London's most iconic music venue's and the excitement is palpable, it is six years since Corinne toured here as a solo performer and this performance which is part of the Starlight Highway tour has attracted people from all corners of the UK, the audience is a healthy mix of young and old which is a reflection on Corinne's music as it is steeped in musical heritage but at the same time not afraid to push the barriers and break new ground. 

Tonight's performance sits in the halfway mark of the UK tour which consists mainly of seated shows in arts venues and theatres, so this reviewer was intrigued as to how Corinne West would approach a show in a stand up rock'n'roll venue, needless to say she 'Rocked it' greeted by whoops and hola's after every song and wearing her trademark hat Corinne launches her set with 'Been Around the World' before going into the sublime 'Cry of the Echo Drifter' from her latest record release . For this tour Corinne West is accompanied by UK based multi instrumentalist Sam Lawrence whose musicianship is masterful as demonstrated on the rockin 'Deep Ellum Blues' with its soaring electric guitar solo matched by Corinne's incredible vocal range and it is at this stage we begin to suspect that we are witnessing something very special here. 'Sweet Rains of Amber' is music in its most beautiful and purest form with close vocal harmonies from Corinne and Sam, backed by mandolin and acoustic guitar, this song transport's you to a whole new plain of existence as suggested by the album title it is from 'Starlight Highway'. 

Corinne's stage presence is a joy to behold and her skill in using the microphone to its maximum potential by knowing when to back away and when to come up close turns her vocals into an intricate instrument in their own right as was shown on the epic 'Lady Luck'. Corinne West has always seemed comfortable with the 'Americana' label as it covers a variety of genre' s which comes out in her live performances which included a cover of the Country classic ' The Gambler' her own Country song 'Lilly Ann', the Folksy 'Road to no Compromise' featuring Sam's evocative backing on whistle and the high octane big Blues sound of the closing number 'Roses to Rust' which finished the set to rapturous applause. There was no way that this pair where going to be allowed to leave the stage based on the audience reaction unless they did another song , and what a song it was, performed acapella with Sam creating a mesmerising vocal drone 'Bonnie Yew Tree' is a exquisitely beautiful Folk song that Corinne was taught in the High Sierras of her Californian homeland which captivated the whole audience and the perfect way to end an evening that will live long in the memory for those that witnessed it. Let's hope it is not another six years before Corinne returns to the UK as this is an artist on the very top of their game. 

Writer: Steve Gray 

LIVE SHOW REVIEW - R2 writer colin hall - STONEBRIDGE BARN - 2015

The evening Corinne West played to an invited audience in the tiny village of Tansley in the Derbyshire Peak District will linger long in the minds of all those privileged enough to attend. 

Just Corinne, her soaring vocals and subtle guitar together with the deft guitar playing of Sam Lawrence this acoustic session highlighted all that makes her such a special talent. Blessed with a wondrously supple voice Corinne is a great interpretive singer who unerringly locates the emotional heart of all that she sings. Then, of course, her own marvellous songs are sonic gems of poetry and story-telling, beautifully crafted, melodically and lyrically rich, always engaging the imagination and holding the attention: no doubt, she’s a great communicator. 

The audience in Tansley sensed from the start that the evening was special. The room, candlelit and warm, Corinne just an arm’s length away, each song forging a stronger bond between them: very rarely is the creative energy of a performance experienced so up close and personal. 

Featuring songs drawn in large part from her latest album Starlight Highway the evening was also a journey through the heartlands of Corinne’s musical influences. ‘Americana’, ‘roots’, ‘folk’, ‘country rock’ are all labels that could apply and are applied to her records but in the end she’s an elusive spirit, her music a rich and heady mix of all that she has absorbed and learned. And like all great songwriters this means her music is distinctively her own: as Steve Earle once said, ‘there are only two types of music – good music and bad music’. When Corinne writes and when she sings it’s as good as it gets. 

And that night in Tansley what folk heard was something beyond good.

~ Colin Hall, writer for R2 Magazine, UK, December 2015