Review by Hester Stiller

Frances Clare Band at Cafe Roux – Monday 28th May 2018.

Listening to accomplished musicians is akin to walking out amongst the stars – the Frances Clare band sends the audience into a dimension of harmonious and well orchestrated sound. The songs are written by Frances who admits to being a song writer in whose mind lyrics, words and songs orbit unrestrainedly. The band functions with ease since the individual musicians subscribe unilaterally to skill with focus on quality. There is a prevailing aura of respect, commitment and passion amongst the members of Frances Clare.

The bass playing was at all times audible and not down played – the bassist played with great feeling and knowledge of being the central connection point between rhythm and melody. Steven Jarvis is an accomplished bassist and brings to his music a quality of greatness.

Ian Black on drums is a study in subtle and unobtrusive skill – perfect timing creates perfect sound. He is an accomplished drummer and a master at his craft.

Devon De Swardt on lead guitar and acoustic guitar delivered highly skilled and singular playing –also a master at his craft.

Tricia Brink-Jones and her violin – oh heavenly sound that winds itself in and around the band, the singer, the audience like a thread of silver – rising up – perfect and accomplished playing.

The range of Frances’ voice is nothing short of astounding – a voice that soars effortlessly above the music to linger around the audience – beautiful songs and words appear to come from the incorporeal air – absolutely enchanting to listen to her singing. Frances has a rare talent – a combination of excellent song writing and a magnificent voice – she comes alive when singing.

The Frances Clare band astounds one and all with their individual accomplishments as musicians, they are masters at their craft and, as a band, a delight with their hauntingly beautiful music and differentiated playing. The repertoire of songs included favourites like “When it Rains”, “Summer”, “Broken Girl”, the most wonderful and precious “Clouds over Gold”, “Poetry”, “Easy” and “Overboard”. The audience was warm and responsive – Frances Clare has, in less than a year, managed to gather unto them a body of admirers and committed fans.

Frances Clare and her band hold the audience spell bound with their outstanding accomplishments – it is sheer joy to be in the presence of this band. May their journey towards the inevitable meteoric lift off be one of joy, light, and beautiful music.

Hester Stiller, Cape Town (2018:05:28)

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