by Peter Callaghan
A lyric in Dan Hicks‘ song I Scare Myself, sung in the second half of Liane Carrol, Sophie Bancroft and Sara Colman’s intimate gig in the bar of the Traverse Theatre, perfectly encapsulates the chemistry between the performers and the effect they had on their audience: “But it’s so so very different when we’re together / And I’m so so much calmer; I feel better”. The love in the room was tangible, the talent (singing and songwriting, musicianship and chest slapping!) top drawer and the sense of fun and playfulness infectious. But behind it all lay two qualities which elevate the great from the good: fearlessness and honesty. Hence the title Unleashed!
With Carroll on keyboard and Bancroft on guitar, the trio moved from three-part harmonies and duets to solos and back to three-part harmonies at the drop of a pin – which is what you would have been able to hear during many of the more reflective songs such as the former’s reworking of Bring Me Sunshine from her latest album Seaside and the latter’s beautiful self-penned ballads including Home from her 2010 album Bird of Paradise. But one of the highlights of the evening for me was Colman’s fresh take on On The Street Where You Live from My Fair Lady which was preceded by a lovely story about her unrequited love for a boy in her youth.
Soundhouse, an Edinburgh-based promoter who kicked of the first of eighteen Monday night gigs at the Traverse with Unleashed, has an ambition to found “a bespoke live music centre” in the capital. One of their stated aims is “to promote a memorable experience for audiences and musicians alike through a more positive attitude to live music”. Boy did they deliver on that front! For as the firm of solicitors-sounding trio of Carroll, Bancroft and Coleman did an Elvis and left the building to the tune of Bye, Bye Blackbird, the audience packed up all their cares and woes and stepped out into the rare mild evening feeling just as loved and understood as the performers.