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Malojian 'Broken Deer Ep launch'

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ATL | 13:58 UK time, Monday, 27 February 2012

Malojain Poster

Malojian ‘Broken Deer Ep launch’ with Robyn G Shiels, Rae Morris 
Bang, Belfast
25th Feb 2012

In a somewhat unorthodox setting of the upstairs of vintage clothes boutique Bang we are treated to a trio of three singer-songwriters. The room is quite small, with kooky lamps, mismatching furniture and retro posters all adding to the pretence that this is no ordinary gig. The crowd is bustling and chatting amongst themselves as they are wont to do. It could easily be a meeting of friends as much as a launch of a new record.

First up is Rae Morris. Hailing from Blackpool, this eighteen year old with a shy demeanor seems unassuming but when she starts to sing, boy, can she sing! She is nothing short of incredible. Her voice is powerful and commands the room effortlessly. Immediately we see similarities to Regina Spektor and Vanessa Carlton regarding both her voice and her ability on the piano. ‘Walls’ is just one of several gorgeous songs that proves this is no mere pretender. Rae is new to the gigging scene yet she never misses a note, any nerves have no effect and as far as introductions go, you don’t get much better than this. A real talent to look out for.

After a short wait and a few technical hiccups veteran performer Robyn G Shiels shows us why he is one of Belfast's’ most appreciated songwriters, playing a set that is filled with songs of heartache and longing. His crackled voice echoes his music and songs such as ‘Hello Death’ are extremely well appreciated. His songs take the listener on a journey and while the set is a little repetitive at times, it is a journey the crowd is willing to take. Shiels is a constant presence in the N.I music scene and on the basis of this intimate performance it is not hard to see why.

Not long after Ten, One half of Malojian take to the stage in rather fetching boiler suits, it’s an interesting introduction but it in no way detracts from the music. Starting with a cover of ‘He was a friend of Mine’ , Stevie Scullion has a voice that does not imitate Dylan and nor does he try to. It’s a marvelous introduction and it is great to see someone play a harmonica as well as the man himself. Stevie’s voice is clear and delicate and echoes Paul Simon and Sufjan Stevens. This is indie-folk at its finest. With ‘What am I Worth’ the rest of the band joins in and with the extra manpower the set continues with greater variety and depth.

‘Often Wonder’ is a song crying out to be taken into the mainstream, it has hit written all over it. With the end of the set, the band has left the stage and Stevie is persuaded by the crowd for one final track. It’s a beautiful, sweet rendition of Simon & Garfunkels “Kathy’s Song’ and it quietens the crowd to a whisper and finishes the night perfectly. A rapturous success for three vastly different artists, all at different stages of their respective careers.

David Smith




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