5 August 2001
London Elbow Room
Acoustic Session : 5:00 pm
Damn Your Eyes
Let It Fall
Review by Jon Lawrence
As previously reported on Drowned In Sound, Carina Round is somewhat of a revelation. Lauded on these very pages as arguably the best British female artist of her time, opportunities like this are not to be missed.
Carina takes the stage alone and sings, music free, into the microphone. The rowdy setting is stunned into a hushed silence, and the atmospheric vocals echo around the building. Right from the beginning Carina has taken charge of the onlookers and offered fantastic proof of the impressive reviewing received over the UK.
Tracks such as 'Lightbulb Song' and 'Let It Fall' sound as impressive as ever, now backed with double bass and drums. The music is credible, but it's the voice that is being listened to. Swirling, dipping and shrieking to unimaginable levels - It is truly inspiring.
For those not quite as taken as others, the demons are well and truly blown away with the finale 'On Leaving'. words do not express just how the woman manages to awesomely shatter the stereotypes of a female singer with this onslaught of pure raw deliverance.
Short and to the point this afternoon, this performer gets better and better, go and see her whenever possible. Disappointment just isn't viable.
Originally online at the Drowned in Sound website
Review by Luci Jameson
The Elbow Rooms is an odd venue, where the pool players play on in the background and the Sunday drinkers go about their business. But, with a voice that can't fail to move and an attitude impossible to ignore, Carina Round has got a better chance than most of bringing a gig to life here.
The recent release of her debut album, 'The First Blood Mystery', has seen Carina touring up and down the country and steadily building a strong following. Opener, 'Damn Your Eyes', is sung entirely unaccompanied and contains as much raw soul as it does pure gut-wrenching emotion. It's the right song, dragging the collective attentions from the pints and the pool cues.
Joined by drummer Marcus Galley and double-bass player Simon Smith, the band follows with 'The Lightbulb Song'. With a strong collective sound and an obvious enjoyment of playing together, this band is a refreshingly tight unit.
'The Waves' is a softer, more vulnerable sound, providing a little breathing space before the standout track of the day (arguably the album's finest moment ) 'Let It Fall'. Introducing the song with candour, Round reveals a gentle humour and soft intonation, a contrast to the arresting power of her vocal.
'Let It Fall' is an emotional powerhouse of a song, with a rhythm to get the feet moving and a captivating vocal hook. It is strong on the album, but has to be heard live to be fully appreciated.
As Carina Round ends the set with 'On Leaving', it isn't hard to gauge the mood. The audience stands for a moment, caught up in what they just witnessed. And then the familiar clink of the glasses, and click of cue on ball resumes.
Originally online at the Launch website