Scottish folk singer Rachel Sermanni has recently taken Birmingham’s Glee Club by storm. From Carrbridge, Strathspey and aged just twenty-two Rachel has already toured with and supported famous names such as Fink, Mumford and Sons and Elvis Costello. Making a name for herself with Under Mountains, her debut album in 2012, her new EP tour Everything Changes has brought Rachel back to Birmingham’s Glee Club. In the Glee Club’s studio, where she performed her set, the atmosphere was quite electric, the dim red lighting and the closest audience member only a couple of feet away from Rachel herself made for an extremely intimate experience.
Supporting Rachel was twenty-three year old Mo Kenney, a witty and dryly amusing folk singer from Nova Scotia, her beautifully melancholy songs (“Sucker” in particular) were interspersed with laconic audience interaction about stories of plastic toy snakes and terrorizing old ladies named Judy.
Accompanied by Jennifere Austin on keyboard, Rachel walked on stage modestly and quietly opening with her lead track, ‘Two Birds’, from her new EP she instantly captivated the audience, following up with ‘Breathe Easy’ and the track list from Under Mountains. Personally I didn’t know what to make of her at first as she moved erratically about the stage with her guitar, but it wasn’t long before I was completely transfixed and understood the way she truly moved with and felt her own music. Each song began somewhat soft and slow, culminating in a harmonious outburst of sound. Her fresh faced look and modesty on stage was ultimately contradicted with the power of her commanding, soulful voice and her quiet confidence and connection to her own music.
After purchasing both Mo Kenney’s self-titled album and Rachel Sermanni’s new EP and Under Mountains almost as soon as I got home from The Glee Club I cannot recommend them both enough. Both Mo and Rachel are touring the UK together until the end of March, and are definitely ones not to miss.