Piney Gir Live at The Lexington, 13/07/19

Live review by Lorna Myles

The first time I saw Piney Gir perform live, she was guesting with TV themes covers band Dream Themes, recreating the ghostly vocals on the Star Trek theme and absolutely nailing the very highest note. With such a talent it’s unsurprising other artists seek her out to sing with them, and until very recently she’s been kept busy touring the world with Gaz Coombes and his band.

But, as great as her voice is – full and rich and sweet and with a huge range and lots of heart – it’s as a songwriter that Piney Gir really shines. Here at the Lexington she’s opening for another band, accompanied at first only by her own gentle strumming of an acoustic guitar, and the response from the audience is pretty much totally rapt attention and appreciation.

Piney’s extensive back catalogue covers a wide range of genres, from pop to electronica to country & western, but it’s striking how strong the tunes and lyrics are when performed very simply without the lush and rich arrangements of a full production.   

Combining a few chords and uncomplicated melodies in such a way that they still sound fresh and engaging is a rare talent – but songs like I Don’t Know Why I Feel Like Crying But I Do sound instantly memorable, like new friends you feel you must have known for a long time. Stripped back and uncluttered, the songs really connect, and you can’t help but fall silent.

After a short while she introduces lead guitarist Garo Nahoulakian to the stage, and the additional layer especially works on a plaintive and moody interpretation of 2018 single Dreamcatcher, like the soundtrack to a late-night drive in a film.

It’s rare for a support act to hold the audience’s attention for the duration of their set like this, but with songs this good the crowd doesn’t grow tired and the applause at the end is sustained and sincere.

Piney will be back at The Lexington for a full band show on 17th September, with new album You Are Here due out in October.  

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