Tuesday 15 April 2014

Terry Emm & Callum Rafferty - Shimmering

Callum Rafferty
Although this was a three-handed gig at the Borderline in London (04/04/2014) I had come to hear and see, Terry Emm, who was the meat in the sandwich between Callum Rafferty and Emma Stevens. Sometimes you must admit defeat, particularly when you've already had your fill and it was Stevens who dropped off my table after I sated myself on Emm and Rafferty.

Callum Rafferty defied his youthful status with an accomplished and confident performance in front of a building crowd at this legendary Soho venue.
The majority of his songs relied on him looping  his voice to create multi-layered sounds that washed over us, and yet his unadulterated voice still sailed on top.

The most impressive tunes of his set were when the backing loops competed with the clean cuts of Callum Rafferty's lyrics. The imperfections in his third tune "Second felt forever" let us gain some purchase and ride along with him. Especially with a looping sound that resembled a steam train with its short husky breaths which Rafferty's voice pushed against with a penetrating chill.

As Terry Emm came to the stage also with a guitar in hand it would be easy to make the assumption that it would be more of the same. His opening tune "Dove" wrong footed me and I expect many others who stood before him. The clarity of his voice, mirroring that of its subject matter in its purity was the first bolt to hit home, and in all honesty it continued to do so throughout his set. I cannot say in all truthfulness that he climbed to a greater height such was the impact of his opener. It was emotive and sparse, beautiful and elongated but most of all tender.

Terry Emm
"Sarah" was well received in the audience amongst me but it was "Monet" that created the ripples on the stillness of my lake. Terry Emm with his button down collar looked more like Cezanne than any other impressionist with a wide forehead and neatly trimmed beard, dark strong eyes but with Lautrecian glasses to throw me off the scent.

Emm is currently warming us up for the release of 'Starlight', his latest album on August 11th 2014. We heard of course a flurry of songs from the aforementioned and it was the anthemic 'For This' that gave us an insight into the struggles of this understated songwriter.

For this would be the opportunity to flourish my words in impressionist hues but my metaphors could not shimmer without the light from Terry Emm's voice.


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