Review: Nell Bryden at The Cellars at Eastney

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Many musicians say they live for playing live. Rarely is that as evident as in this performance by Nell Bryden and her band.

Married earlier this year and seven months pregnant, Bryden is enjoying life – so much so that she is almost apologetic for no longer relating to the more downbeat Not Like Loving You from back in 2010.

The set draws heavily on new album Wayfarer which highlights a poppier sound than her earlier rootsy material. Album co-producer Lorne Ashley is in the band on guitar and the guy makes the Energizer bunny look like a slacker with his non-stop performance.

Fourth album title track Shake The Tree is her ‘carpe diem’ song, and wins possibly the biggest cheers of the night.

But it’s followed by a pared-down rendition of new album track All You Had with just her voice and her keyboard player, it shows Bryden can do restraint just as well.

Bryden has a powerful voice, which is proved when she sings Wayfarer’s title track away from the mic to little discernible difference in volume.

She finishes with her old single Second Time Around, which becomes even more of a rollicking rockabilly stomp than the recorded version.

Here’s to a safe birth for ‘the bump’, and Bryden resuming live duties as soon as is sensibly possible.