On another warm night in September, we climb the narrow stairs that take us above the bar in the excellent Bodega venue in the heart of Nottingham city centre to find Natalie Hannah McCool. English singer-songwriter and musician, Natalie is on the third gig of her fifteen date tour, taking in most of the other major cities in Britain including dates in Cardiff, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester.

Born in Whiston in Merseyside, McCool frequents Widnes in Cheshire and she first became acknowledged when she won a Yamaha-sponsored national songwriting competition judged by Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin. Her other claim to fame is that she received a one-to-one songwriting session with Paul McCartney whilst at University. She has also developed her own brand of feminine pop/indie/alternative/electronic sounds with the help of Dave Berger from influential band Outfit. As well as having her own band with her on tour, McCool is more than comfortable with her own expertise playing guitar, bass guitar, piano, keyboards, percussion and, of course, singing.

The night begins with the basic but impressive atmospheric sound from Nottingham four piece Vera Gull who have been drafted in for support. They make a nice job of it considering it is their first major gig. If you've caught any of our last few reviews from this venue or even had chance to get on down in person you will be aware that The Bodega has risen from the depths and is now, for me, one of the best run venues in the city with a quality light and sound system and a crew to match. It really is that good these days. So it is good to be able to showcase quality acts such as the one here tonight with McCool's unpretentious take on life and relationship.

The band consisting of keys and guitar with electronic percussion strike up and go straight into a track called ‘Magnet’, giving us chance to get to grips with Natalie's expert guitar playing and harmony. She has obviously brought a few fans with her, the room is verging on full and the ones that have broken into song also know the words... a little later, ‘Fortress’ proves my point. It's pretty much the staple for the rest of the night with McCool introducing tracks with what seems like sarcastic ease, "This one's about my ex boyfriend," she reveals, with an expression on her face that cracks us all up. Controversially, visually, she is a sort of Kate Nash type but better with the vocals. She has a voice like an angel but morphs from time to time into something a little more raw and punchy while still having an air of vulnerability about her.

Natalie McCool's new album 'The Great Unknown' is out now, hence the tour and it is available on all the usual formats. If this has driven you to hearing the real thing live then I would highly recommend it! You won't be disappointed.


Photos by Dave Goodwin
www.davegoodwinimages.com











Related Links:

http://www.nataliemccool.co.uk/
https://en-gb.facebook.com/nataliemccoolofficial
https://twitter.com/NatalieMcCool


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