Evering//Daudi Matsiko//Izzie Yardley
Tucked away amongst the grand labyrinth that is the Voodoo Rooms, complete with glistening chandeliers and ornate mirrors, is The Speakeasy room. Perfectly equipped to host intimate performances, the venue did just that on Wednesday night as Scottish duo Evering paid a visit on what was the second leg of their ‘Northern Tour’.
With the mood lighting set and the clink of ice on tall glasses reverberating around the room, Izzie Yardley takes to the stage. The London-based singer songwriter takes a while to get going but once she is loosened up, her sweet and supple voice explores a range that most could only dream of possessing.
Accompanying herself with either acoustic guitar or piano, Yardley pays homage to a cross-section of influences in amongst her refined sound. Her chord choice on the piano is reminiscent of Carole King whereas the intricate guitar work is much more jazzy and can be likened to Lianne La Havas’ effortless style.
Next up is fellow Londoner Daudi Matsiko whose ability to leave space in a song is quite unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. At first glance his setup is relatively simple; an acoustic guitar and a couple of pedals. But Matsiko is the definition of the modern singer songwriter. By using an octave pedal to bolster his already textured voice, mountains of reverb and an off-kilter open tuning, Matsiko creates an ethereal soundscape that lurches from tearful silences to rich, bellowing crescendos.
Matsiko’s affable stage persona seems almost counter to the rawness of his music. The simplistically titled, Hymn, about Daudi’s relationship with his Father, is almost undermined by the lacklustre introduction. “I just ramble on and he’s like, “Yeah cool.”” says Daudi. But when we finally hear the song, played on a set of mini keys with a reverberating organ tone, the gravity and pain attached far exceeds what was advertised. One feels a warning notice would be helpful.
The detuning of the bottom strings which clatter off the neck, accompanied by the highest reaches of Daudi’s reverb soaked voice, all point to Justin Vernon of Bon Iver being a surefire influence. Matsiko channels many other notable artists but is in himself an original and, as a result, a must-see.
Finishing up a stellar evening are Evering. The dynamic duo, made up of Chris Yendell and Dawn Coulshed, combine intricate piano with heartfelt, uncluttered songwriting. Coulshed’s classical background adds a notable elegance to the sound but it’s Yendell’s ability to turn a simple setup of acoustic guitar and piano into a wall of impassioned noise that lifts this ritzy venue up another level.
Although the pair formed in London, both are Scottish and met on the Edinburgh music scene before relocating South. Even without this knowledge, one can hear the Celtic lilt in the music. Songs like City Flyer, although on the face of it a little commercial, actually embody how genuine this group are. The same goes for Humble Man, written about a colleague of Yendell’s who, despite personal grievances, made a leaving party extra special. The inspiration for these songs comes from simple acts in life and perhaps this is why there is an endearing clarity surrounding Evering, both in words and music.
As the evening draws to a close, the audience plead for one more and Evering deliver with a mesmeric rendition of Let Go, from the Beyond Oceans EP, to round off a night in which the obeying crowd were treated to three songwriters at the pinnacle of their art form.
Go check these sites out and go and see them!!
Words: Jamie McDonald