Hannah Atkins “Beyond your Skin” Album Launch Gig - February 15th, 2012
If you missed this gig, whatever you do, don't miss the next one, register with Hannah's mailing list on her website and of course check out her new album 'Beyond your Skin'
We've heard Hannah sing before so we knew this was going to be special but nothing could have prepared us for this night, it was quite simply awe inspiring ! Here are exerts from a review by kind permission of Rachel Kearney.
Arriving into the bar something of an official event appears to be underway. Charity stands, flyers and poster art for sale isn't the usual greeting at Band on the Wall's entrance. Hannah Atkins might not be a familiar name on the Manchester music scene. Yet. Her show centres around her social advocacy work and the people she's met along the way that inspire her songwriting.
Hannah's arrival on stage is warmly greeted, confirming loyal support already. Dressed up in a black feathered frock, killer heels and a blonde chignon she refreshingly shakes off any political, protest singer (un)styled stereotypes. Seven months pregnant she takes an elegant wobble to a grand piano, and is flanked by drums, samplers and a string ensemble. It's impressive stuff from the start, with 'Sunrise' as our introduction. It's written from a clearly experienced place and Hannah's own narrative between songs further bolsters this. Hannah's songwriting is directly inspired by people's personal stories than broader political commentary. Hannah's voice is distinctively soft, breathy and powerful. Her musical talent is evident but what is of note is her handy knack for garnering support and people around her to create something greater than the sum of her own skill. The captivating 'Rest,' 'Thank' and 'Dream' are multi-layered electronica, folksey-esque ballads with a recognisable sound that she makes her own. The production values are high and husband / producer Aydee Latty has done a fine job of adding the backdrop to the mixes.
Some of tonight's themes aren't for the faint hearted (human trafficking and exploitation.) Nevertheless Hannah really deserves a younger crowd to access her. We're in a reflective atmosphere but it's certainly not passive. It's obvious that she's no conformer compared to what other 20 something female artists are getting a bee in their bonnet about. Neither is she an angsty protest singer. Her demeanour is warm, funny and feminine with a steely determination to write songs that cut to the heart of the matter. After tonight there's a sense of wanting to bask in the electronica glow and delve a little deeper into some of the stories that Hannah is determined you hear about.
Published on Thursday 16th February 2012
Hannah Atkins, Album Release, Manchester Band on the Wall, Judith Ude