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Gig Reviews...Mermaid Kiss

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GIG GALLERY Photos by Lee Millward

Evelyn Downing by Lee Millward

Wendy Marks by Lee Millward

Richard Northwood by Lee Millward

Mermaid Kiss by Lee Millward

The Limelight, Crewe 16 October 2008

Mermaid Kiss 'live' is - sadly - a very rare commodity these days. The band have made a couple of exquisite albums but still remain a best kept secret for all except the growing faithful who have happily discovered their music in recent years.

The audience at the Limelight was enthralled by the band's mesmerising set, drawn from their output over the years. So we had 'Mermaid Kiss' from the debut album mixed with a couple of new tracks including 'Ghost Riders', and several more from 'Etarlis' including 'Walking With Ghosts' and 'Shadow Girl'. (There's a full set-list in Jamie's blog)

Evelyn Downing, Mermaid Kiss

With mainstay Andy Garman otherwise engaged, and therefore a gap in the keyboards and drums department, Mermaid Kiss are not quite adrift. Happily, Colin Henney answered the band's call and on only his second try-out provided some excellent empathic synth textures to what was basically an acoustic set.

Jamie Field, Mermaid Kiss

With Jamie Field taking an essential but supportive role on acoustic guitar, and Richard Northwood making the bass anchor his own, the focus is very much on vocalist Evelyn Downing and woodwind player Wendy Marks. Wendy showed great versatility on a variety of woodwind instruments, adding a classical and ethereal quality to the songs, as well as vocal harmonies.

Wendy Marks, Mermaid Kiss

Evelyn was on good form too, with occasional flute but excelling vocally on the previously unreleased 'Circles Of Fire'. Jamie told me this is an early piece that's never seen the light of day on album but it certainly demands some further consideration for the future.

Beguiling and bewitching. That's Mermaid Kiss. Once you are locked in to those engaging melodies - and that passionate vocal delivery - there is really no turning back.

Musically, I think the band could go in a couple of directions at the moment. If they stay semi-acoustic I am sure they could pursue a successful sub-folk-arts centre-to-jazz club path.

However, slightly cranked up - with a sympathetic but emotionally charged electric guitarist and a hip new drummer - I think they would rightfully re-assert their place in the pantheon of current melodic to prog bands worth going out for, and possibly eclipse the lot of them.

Review by David Randall

Photos by Lee Millward

Best of 2008


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Jamie Field's Journal


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Evelyn Downing by Lee Millward

Wendy Marks by Lee Millward

Richard Northwood by Lee Millward

Mermaid Kiss by Lee Millward

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