Hope is Where the Heart Is

2009-10-26 14:58
Shannon Hope

Hope is an exceptionally honest performer. She gets into those emotional places we often block out, with such ease and sincerity that you wonder if she doesn’t perhaps live there permanently. Watching her performance at the Corner Cafe in Durban the other night, her honesty was so obvious that it seemed at times as if she had stopped performing. There were moments were she forgot the audience, and became lost in the music itself; the effect was simply mesmerising.

In June this year she started her solo career with the debut album STILL, a collection of truthful and moving songs. Defining Hope's genre is slippery; sometimes folk, sometimes pop, sometimes jazz it seems to crossover to something new. Hope calls it 'pop art', since her music is strongly lyric-based, genre chosen to fit each song's style rather than the other way around. Hope trained as a classical pianist so the music is technically tight. And while her lyrics are undoubtedly profound, Hope's true strength is the emotional states she creates especially through her voice control. Her interpretation of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" is clever, moving and simply the best I've ever heard.

Hope is no stranger to the music world, having been a member of the successful alternative rock band Ketamine when they were still around. But with her solo career, the sturm-und-drang rock persona has fallen away to show a more vulnerable side. She is not afraid to reveal herself and often just uses vocals and keyboards to do so. Her music is raw, uncompromising and penetrating.

From the melancholic "Blue Skies" to the playful and lovesick "Oh boy", her album covers a wide range of human experiences honestly and intelligently. Hope is brave and real, and her outstanding performance took me places I hadn't been in years. Don't miss it.

Cape Town Tour
Saturday 7 November: Fogeys Railway House
with Ripchord
Doors 7pm, R40 entrance, Station Building, Main Road, Muizenberg, Tel 021 788 3252
Monday 9 November: Barlyecorn Music Club
Doors 8pm, Rygersdal Sports Club, Erin Road, Rondebosch, Tel 0725002163 0725002163
Thursday 12 November: Alliance Francaise
With Andy Lund, combining music & art with an exclusive photographic exhibition
Doors 8pm, R40 entrance, 155 Loop Street, Cape Town, Tel 0214235699 0214235699
Friday 13 November: Fogey's Railway House
Doors 7pm, R40 entrance, Station Building, Main Road, Muizenberg, Tel 0217883252 0217883252
Tuesday 17 November: The Waiting Room
With The Simon van Gend Band.
Doors 9pm, R30 entrance, 273 Long Street (above Royale Eatery), Cape Town, Tel 0214237635 0214237635
Saturday 21 November: Obz Café
With The Jack Mantis Band
Doors 8pm, R40 entrance, 115 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Tel 0214485555 0214485555
Thursday 26 November: Zula Sound Bar
With Andy Lund & The Mission Men
Starts 9pm, R30 entrance, 194 Long Street, Cape Town, Tel 0214242442 0214242442

Watch: You tube live video

For more information on Shannon Hope, visit Official Website, Facebook Fanpage, Myspace and Twitter.

Music has the ability to take you to places that you can't always access in everyday life. This is why we need artists like Durban-based Shannon Hope. Her music is emotive, evocative, and delivered with such honesty that you can’t help believing every single word.

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