Rated 5 out of
Jen Cloher. Manchester Deaf Institute 14-2-2018
Jen Cloher at the Deaf Institute in Manchester on Valentine's day 2018 was on better form than ever. I had forgotten what a charismatic stage presence she has. Playing with her increasingly celebrated wife Courtney Barnett on lead guitar, and Bones Sloane and Jen Sholakis on bass and drums, she still completely owned the stage, not a trick many could manage in such company. Cloher's new self titled album is also her best yet. It is almost disturbingly candid at times, whilst her song "Strong Woman" is a good contender for feminist anthem status. I have had the CD since it came out, but to see the songs live is so much more powerful than even the best record. Any one going to see her on the rest of the tour is in for a treat.
It is also worth noting the support act, Anika Ostendorf, who performs as "Hachiku". I hadn't come across her before, but am I glad I got there early enough to catch her act. She was a revelation with a lovely, gentle voice, overlying great musicianship. In particular, she is a genuine genius with loopers, even building of multi tracked vocals there and then on stage. At one point she played a Cranberries' cover, and was quite literally all of them, despite playing with no backing band. I have been playing her E.P. pretty much constantly ever since, and look forward to hearing more from her.
Date published: 2018-02-15