Friday, 29 August 2014

ODi - Boston Tea Party, Honiton, 28th August, 2014

ODi Ascending

Ahead of reviewing two cds by this superb duo, picked up at last night’s gig, I’ll comment on the great pleasure of seeing ODi in the intimate setting of the Boston Tea Party. It was intimate because of the coffee house venue but also the small audience, and my view of the latter is it was our special enjoyment to experience such a close and personal performance, and others’ loss for having missed.

ODi is Claire Odlum and Dave Redfearn, and in live performance last night played an acoustic set. As a male/female harmony duo they slot neatly into a popular format currently in some ascendance [The Civil Wars - though recently split - Carrie Elkin & Danny Schmidt, Shovels & Rope – more Country and heavy, I know – Angus & Julia Stone, to pull out a quick four at random]. In the unadorned context of such an acoustic set, ODi’s sweet songwriting [as well as covers], sweet singing and sweet symbiosis as a musical pair shone, and for what it’s worth I would say they hold their own in that duo-niche with confidence and considerable charm. I will write more about their music when reviewing the cds I now have, enjoying listening to Maslow’s Songbook as I write.

We were treated to a delightful sample of their music to date, and this included the excellent One in a Million, Something Beautiful which, we were told, is a hit in Turkey, the lovely A Superman, and covers of Dylan’s It Ain’t Me Babe and closing on Springsteen’s I’m On Fire, both beautifully done in their acoustic simplicity, but full of the inherent emotion in each song because of the empathy in performance. We all have our individual tests and touchstones in judging the impact of an act: for me, ODi’s broad if not surprising influences obviously endear, and their felicitous performance live as a duo – instinctive, talented and totally unaffected – make them and this gig genuinely memorable.

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