Rhiannon Giddens

Rhiannon Giddens

Rhiannon Giddens

Sage Gateshead

28th November 2017

Rhiannon Giddens is a true superstar tonight as she juggles instruments and genres with ease. However, her amazing voice is the star of the show!

Having released her second solo album Freedom Highway earlier this year to widespread critical acclaim, Rhiannon Giddens has finally made it over to the UK. She is known for incredibly passionate and heartfelt songs yet hugely diverse style, it’s very rare that any two songs are the same and fortunately tonight that really showed. As Giddens and her band take to the stage to a warm reception she opens with a beautiful cover of Ola Belle Reid’s Going To Write Me A Letter.

It’s a quick change of pace though as Giddens reaches for her fiddle and in rapid succession her and her band tear through an exceptional medley featuring Fiddle Tune, Pateroller and Black Annie. Her talents really know no bounds and are infinitely evident from the moment she walks out on to the stage, she has also surrounded herself with an incredible group of musicians all of whom can be seen to be swapping instruments at will.

A lot of her songs are rooted in exposing the atrocities of the past and the segregation and unthinkable behaviour that existed. These themes are portrayed so eloquently in tracks like At The Purchaser’s Option and a cover of Aretha Franklin’s Do Right Woman, Do Right Man. For all Giddens is an incredible musician it is her voice that is the real star of the show tonight.

She traverses genres at will so elegant and graceful at times before turning into this insanely powerful soul singer. There is endless passion and angst searing through every track, whether it be soul, folk, country or gospel Giddens has everything in her armoury. However, she is also keen to give her band their rightful chances to shine, as Hubbard Jenkins takes the lead vocals on Children, Go Where I Send Thee and her sister Lalenja Harrington takes the lead on Just One More Day.

There is even a short rap from Giddens nephew on Better Get It Right The First Time, there really is nothing that this set doesn’t have and you really cannot fault Giddens in any way. She is truly out of this world tonight especially during a rousing rendition of The Staples Singers Freedom Highway which close out their main set tonight and receives a rightful standing ovation. Rhiannon Giddens tonight is a true superstar!

Rhiannon Middens can be found online here rhiannongiddens.com. She is also on Facebook and tweets as @RhiannonGiddens.

Use of these images in any form without permission is illegal. If you wish to use or license any images, please contact LeeHammond@Louderthanwar.com.

All words and photos by Lee Hammond. You can check out more work by Lee at his Louder Than War author’s archive, he also tweets as @Napzap.

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