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Lydia Cole and Hailey Beavis

Leith Depot, Edinburgh
Four stars

When New Zealand-born chanteuse Lydia Cole and Edinburgh singer/song-writer Hailey Beavis shared a bill at a festival in Barcelona, they hit it off so well they ended up writing and recording an EP together on a Catalonian farm. It takes a forgotten lucky horse shoe found on the farm and retrieved by guitarist Timothy Armstrong to jog Cole’s memory on the lyrics to The Fool That I Am, a typically candid song from her second album, The Lay of the Land, which Cole dedicates to Beavis in her second ever UK gig as part of a short low-key tour.

You can see why Cole and Beavis are musical kindred spirits, both from their individual sets and three of the songs from the as yet unreleased EP that are peppered throughout the night. Both serve up a series of fragile confessionals leavened by an inclusive warmth which at one point prompts a discussion among the audience about Edinburgh’s bus service.

Sporting a jumper that suggests Mondrian art directing a 1980s kid’s TV Show, Beavis lets loose a candid tumble of words concerning matters of the heart and a mis-spent youth, accompanied in the main solely by acoustic guitar. Sophie Dodds of fellow travellers Storm the Palace provides backing vocals on two songs, while following an excursion into loops and beats, Cole joins her for one of their joint compositions, a beautifully candid paean to new love.

The tone continues in Cole’s set, with miniature tales of love, loss and the pains of long distance love affairs coloured in by nuanced guitar and keyboard underscores. Two more collaborations with Beavis, Forget It and Talk To Me, follow, ushering in Sober and That Was You, from Cole’s 2012 debut, Me and Moon, before a lovely take on Que Sera Sera encourages the quietest of singalongs. As Cole leaves the stage following a closing Blind Boy, she and Beavis high five, hopefully sealing the deal on future collaborations to come.

The Herald, September 10th 2018



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