Daniel Merrill, Milly Hirst @ OST 8 October 2013

OST Presents … Daniel Merrill, and Milly Hirst, at Cinema City Bar, 8th October 2013, review

Another beautifully relaxed and informal gig for Iain Lowery’s OST nights at Cinema City, featuring Milly Hirst and Daniel Merrill, extraordinary violinist with The Dead Rat Orchestra, who I need to acquaint myself with if tonight is anything to go by.

Starting the evening was Milly Hirst, fresh back from a short trip, looking and sounding very mellow and happy. She played a typically beautiful set, relaxed and confidently. I’m not sure if I was imagining it after listening to the recorded version of I Still a lot lately, but it sounded just slightly different to my ears tonight, as if Milly was playing it fractionally slower and emphasising certain words more. It seemed more haunting and beautiful than ever in its barest form. Quite possibly the highlight of the set for me and definitely the goosebumps moment!

milly hirst

milly hirst

For her final two songs – Gentle Sailor, and Rose – she was joined by Daniel Merrill on violin, and bearing in mind that they’d only practiced together for twenty minutes it was highly impressive. Personally, I think it worked particularly well on Rose, adding a subtle and haunting quality to an already atmospheric song but it was certainly really interesting to hear these songs in a different and experimental presentation, and it would be fascinating to hear the outcome were they to work together for longer with more time to arrange the songs. As always, a beautiful set from Milly.

milly, with daniel merrill accompanying on violin

milly, with daniel merrill accompanying on violin

After a short break it was Daniel Merrill’s turn for a solo set. He is an extraordinarily gifted violinist, barefoot and seeming to play with ease and at one with the violin, he introduced with stories pieces which were in turn Scottish, Australian-Irish, Arabic and even sang acapella a folk rendition of a Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine song! Some of the highlights for me were the Arabic pieces, which he played sat amongst the audience, and for one of them he finger plucked his two violins simultaneously. A seriously talented musician.

daniel merrill

daniel merrill

daniel merrill

daniel merrill

From 6:30pm this coming Friday there is a special early evening OST presentation as part of the Norwich Sound & Vision 2013 Festival, featuring Raevennan Husbandes, Ollie Rudge, The Sound of Sight, and followed by the Trike DJs.

words and photos © all rights reserved, richard shashamane 2013








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