Rosie Taylor Project/ Women’s Hour/ Owl and Mouse London, Lexington
Article written by
Ged M - Feb 27, 2012
You only have to compare the encore 'A Good Cafe On George Street' with earlier live expositions or the original album version to see how far the Rosie Taylor Project have come. It breathes life, no longer tentative and shyly observational but full of bold colour (and blasts of breezy trumpet). The Twin Beds album launch shows the band proud and confident, the very opposite of twee (although Jonny earlier shyly confides that he does actually own 2 boxsets of the OC). The gig – which is pretty heaving full for a Monday night – rightly showcases the excellent album, demonstrating their ability to turn a hand to most things now, from the evocative Americana of ‘Gloria’ to the skittery funk notes of ‘Lovers Or Something Like It’ and the swaying confident rhythms of ‘Every Morning’, spilling guitar notes and bursts of trumpet in a crazy pattern. A pretty impressive performance.
Women’s Hour don’t quite live up to expectations. Having loved the first single ‘Jenni’, it was a pleasure to hear it open the set with its twinkly Afrobeat melodies. But then the mood darkens as the sound becomes evocative of the 1980s, all drum machines, skittery rhythms and guitars awash with astringent reserve. It could be Miaow or some other late Factory band but I was hoping for more than this.
Owl and Mouse is led by Australian Hannah Botting, sister of Moustache of Insanity and Allo Darlin’s Bill. There’s a tone in her voice that’s both tender and vulnerable and reminds you of Allo Darlin’s Elizabeth Morris - and she also plays the ukulele. Her songs might be small and pretty (especially ‘Streetlights’) but they’re bold too; one fillets the best bits of New Order’s ‘Temptation’ while another hymns the delights of Mariah Carey and Jens Lekman. Not even technical difficulties prevent her from winding up her set with a tribute to Whitney Houston which is sincere if only half remembered! Hannah and friends have a considerable charm that is well worth catching.