Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin, West Hill Hall (Brighton, UK 10/13/12)
The pre-tour publicity said ‘it’s a special treat when Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin, who normally tour separately, get to share the stage together’ and I have to agree wholeheartedly with that.
My day with this delightful pair, who are not only linked musically but romantically too, started with an in-store performance at Union Music in Lewes where they played for approximately 30 minutes. They gave us a taster of what was to come later that day and captivated the capacity crowd with their energy, wit, spirit, passion and of course their music.
On to Brighton then for the evening performance at West Hill Hall, a cosy space, decorated with fairy lights, standard lamps and candle glow. ‘Bring your own booze’ the promoter said and people did exactly that as they settled down in anticipation of this rare split bill performance.
Schmidt opened with God’s Love of Man and Elkin followed with Gospel Song; they alternated like this throughout, each, at times, lending harmony vocals to the other. They complement each other so well, Elkin with her élan and Schmidt with his more reserved nature. She is animated, energetic and vivacious whereas he’s more thoughtful, less impulsive and ‘goes with the flow’. The first eight song set finished with Elkin performing a new song I’m Lonely Now (?) and if that’s an indication of what’s in the offing then the duo album they plan to record is going to be a winner!
Returning after the interval break Schmidt chose to open the second set with his classic Stained Glass, which although we were not in a church, did somehow seem a very appropriate choice. As a precursor to the afore-mentioned duo album they have released a double-sided single where Schmidt sings one of Elkin’s songs and vice versa. Company of Friends is Schmidt’s song and Elkin reprised her recorded version tonight – absolutely delightful.
The chemistry between them shines through not only in their singing but also in the repartee between them; they banter back and forth with each other as well as with the audience, chatting easily between songs. Finishing the set with Amazing Grace Elkin sang unaccompanied, off the microphone and had no trouble at all in filling the hall with the sound of her voice – she really is a ‘pocket-rocket’ when she lets rip with her vocals.
An encore? Of course we wanted one and what a surprise that turned out to be! A recently discovered Dave Carter song Hard To Make It – a fitting tribute to a much-missed musician who passed away ten years ago. Schmidt and Elkin said that they fought over the song. I suspect that they don’t fight over much and long may their personal and professional partnership thrive for this was a magical night and I’m not the only one who hopes that their touring together loses its rarity status. Jela Webb
God’s Love Of Man
All The More To Sit And Wonder
Landeth by Sea
Jessie Likes Birds
The Dark Eyed Prince
I’m Lonely Now (?)
Company Of Friends
Blue Railroad Train
Ode To Ogallala
Grandpa Built Bridges
Lift Up The Anchor
Serpentine Cycle Of Money
Hard To Make It