Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 22/10/2013 | Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo – St John The Evangelist, Oxford

22/10/2013 | Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo – St John The Evangelist, Oxford

Lisa Ward


“If a picture paints a thousand words then a song paints a thousand pictures”. Tonight Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo are true to their lyrics as we’re taken on a journey exploring the life of her Dutch grandfather, the river near her homeland, and a nod to the indigenous people of Australia. Emily, has always had a way of capturing images in lyrics, the tonight goes to show that largest album Dear River takes the whole thing up a notch.

Tonight sees the band stronger than ever. Perhaps it’s the lightning flashing through the church windows or perhaps is the latest addition to the Halo in the form of drummer Nat Butler, either way, the band are top of their game, their music booming through the church in a way that delivers more atmosphere than I’ve seen before. Though Emily’s voice is at times gravelly (unsurprising as tonight marks the 11th show in a row) this simply adds to the songs, giving them greater depth and the lyrics greater intonation.

For me it’s Everywhen which marks the stand out moment, as the song is transformed from the album track to a heavier, atmospheric number. Yet there are many moments to rejoice over from older number numbers like Nostalgia to her cover of Do Right Woman. With Chris T-T filling Frank Turner’s gap on Fields of June and the Halo offering faultless harmonies on Pause, it’s faultless throughout and re confirms that Emily Barker goes from strength to strength with every offering.


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