The rat’s been on a date

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Last night I had the hottest date in town. Natalie Prass was playing at the PIAF chevron gardens. Seeing an artist like Nat is like going on an Internet date. You do some research and kinda like what you hear so you click YES but there is still a lot you don’t know. her first LP was released on spacebomb last year having spent 3 years in the wilderness without a backer. its all strings and horns over the lightest of voices and easily made it into the top 20 LPS of 2015. She has been touring as the support act for Ryan Adams and Ryan has been covering some of Nats songs. Then you find out that she has another admirer in hard core American rapper Danny Brown. and then the night before the date while watching the second episode of the HBO series Vinyl, Nat appears playing Karen Carpenter and lip sinking to Yesterday Once More Wow she sure gets around She starts with some good fun chatter. she comes from Virginia Beach where the favourite music is surf-folk and they do a dance called Shaggin. She hated country music but moved to Nashville for 8 years. Her dog is called Melvyn but she has dumped him at her parents house because she is never home to feed him. Nat hits the night off with YOUR FOOL and NEVER OVER YOU. The band and the sound is nothing like her recorded material. the lead guitarist Alan and drummer ….. Have only ever played one gig with Nat previously but luckily she had met the bass player before. Nat who normally plays(and collects )old Moog synthesisers plays  guitar. Sounds like a disastrous turn of events but the sound is fabulous. And her voice is sublime alternating between country, R&B and jazz Next follows a fast syncopated almost staccato version of Simon and Garfunkle’s the sound of silence the like of which you have never heard before at times her voice is so high and soft it could be butter. Combined with the heart break of her lyrics its butter that can cut steel. Her solo VIOLENTLY is not quite a solo as the band make minimal sounds that augment her voice perfectly. The song MY BABY DONT UNDERSTAND ME is a real standout. it defines that Natalie Prass sound even though she is able to sing it and play it in so many different ways. In time it will become one of the great songs of our time being covered by many varied and different artists. She finishes with a smoking version of the Supremes YOU KEEP ME HANGING ON and then she tells me I’m dropped and she is gone. A Natalie Prass performance is the definition of ephemeral beauty. Catch her when and if you can.

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