The powerhouse singer-songwriter Jo Harman played a set that varied between hard rock, blues, jazz and gospel when she made her Guildhall debut.
Support for the evening came from the local blues singer and guitarist Tom C Walker, who played a well-received set of music which ranged from the slow burning Sweet Angel, to fitting covers of Bob Marley’s Stir it Up and the Rolling Stones Miss You.
The acclaimed singer Jo Harman has built up a steady reputation, which she more than lived up to on the night.
With her band of pianist and backing vocalist Emily Francis, Nat Martin on guitar and backing vocals, bass player Sonny Winslow and drummer Dave Gimbey, they were all able to follow their leader with startling musicianship – the sudden endings to some songs showing just how tightly drilled the quintet was.
Songs included the opening salvo of Silhouette and No-One Left to Blame, while Through the Night was a much more funk-based song that allowed for some deft soloing.
Things were quietened down for a reading of Carole King’s Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? with the well-known piano part being expertly played, while the more jazz based Cloudy showed the group’s strong harmony singing of to great effect.
An acappella solo off microphone Bless Ma Soul was an attention-grabbing display of Jo Harman’s facility with gospel, and soul singing.
The lively set was closed with the more pop based, feel good groove of When We Were Young, before the encores of I Can Let Go Now and the love song Say That You Want Me.
This was music making of fine quality, with finely honed song and stage-craft all adding to a very entertaining evening.