Two of Yorkshire’s finest Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow have been cheerily spreading good humour and serious story songs across the land for the last ten years. Several albums in it was perhaps inevitable that a live show should surface, this being an opportune time to issue one having just had top drawer exposure with the theme from B.B.C’s ‘Gentleman Jack.’
Recorded at St. George’s a former place of worship in Bristol, the disc is a neat summation of what they’ve delivered to date. Like Chris While & Julie Matthews, O’ Hooley and Tidow possess a dedicated following who’re out in force to give the ladies a rousing reception and ramp up the atmosphere.The songs herein are a decent selection of recent and older material, all of which the audience seem familiar with and are keen to join in on at the slightest excuse.
‘Colne Valley Hearts,’ from ‘Shadows,’ is the kind of personal number they conjure so successfully, its social conscious lyric striking home directly. ‘Woman In Space,’ a new song, comments on the state of play regarding women’s rights and how they’re treated differently across the globe.
‘Small Big Love,’ is a melodic delight, it saunters along an understated piano line, whilst the vocal describes the joy of a deeply felt romance making it the most effective piece on the album. Inevitably it’s ‘Gentleman Jack,’ which closes the evening in come together fashion. At thirteen songs and a full evening’s worth of recording, dare we think there’s a second volume in the works?
Clean production and a great piece of packaging add to the appeal. This is individuality in action.