Rebecca Raw @ Rolling Stock 3rd May 2017

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The Round comes to Rolling Stock every Wednesday. This acoustic evening featured fresh talent from London. A couple of weeks ago Rebecca Raw released her debut EP. Deep Within was an exquisite effort showcasing 5 self penned songs. When reviewing this mini album I fell in love with her lyricism and just reading about her background made me see that Raw’s passion was burning bright.

From browsing Rebecca’s calendar I noticed she was playing The Round in London. Having been impressed with the material I’d heard, attending this gig was a must. Anyways The Round is cleverly set up, each artist takes it in turns to perform one song. It’s similar to shows at Balham’s The Bedford.

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Rebecca performed 6 enchanting tunes on her keyboard, first up it was time for On Top Of The World. This tasty tune has been doing the rounds as it appeared on Raw’s Soundcloud page last year. Anyways One Top Of The World was a captivating cut aided by Rebecca’s smoky smooth vocal tones and mesmerising clear cut lyrics “You said you’re On Top Of The World/ What a place to be/ But it seems it’s a different place/ Even a different world for you and for me/ You’re On Top Of The World/ What a place to be/ But it seems it’s a different place/ Even a different world for you and for me”. Just witnessing Raw perform this number right in front of me left me well and truly enchanted plus she’s such an amazing storyteller. Finally Rebecca Raw put her heart and soul into this hypnotising number. “Songs can just feel so arbitrary. When you’re trying to fit a certain structure. Actually this song is taking a different direction. It might be a simple change to the structure but ideally people wont notice it. This is one of those songs that doesn’t necessary go verse, chorus, verse, chorus. But I like that and I work through. Do a couple of verses and then I build. And then what I call the release. I don’t even call it a chorus” Rebecca mentioned to the intimate audience before embarking onto Rest. This sumptuous song was sheer perfection, the lyrics were so beautiful and then you had Raw’s sugary sweet vocals which were a breathe of fresh air “When the wind blows against you/ You have to slow down/ Throw out your arms/ Don’t turn around/ When the wind blows against you/ And progress is tough/ Do what you can/ It’s always enough”. Rebecca has crafted an utter masterpiece, those vibrant verses sent chills down my spine and the breezy release towards the end uplifted my spirits. “I’m going to play you a song. It’s chorus is the emotion behind it that was where I started. But I also started with my Cello, I don’t have it with me today but that’s how this song started” Raw then said before delving into Whisper Thin. Now this was a majestical ballad packed with bundles of emotion. Rebecca’s enchanting vocal tones were so fragile/ delicate and then you had the perfectly written lyrics which did bring a lump to my throat “I am weary/ And on my own I have little little more to give/ And I am weary/ My cry from Deep Within is wearing Whisper Thin”. This emotional ballad was an entrancing piece of perfection and the whimsical melody made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge.

The second portion of the evening saw each artist perform a song which they wished they wrote. “I hate choosing a number. So I wouldn’t like to say this is the song that I wish I written but it’s a song” Rebecca Raw said before her very own interpretation of Big Yellow Taxi. Performed at a slow and hypnotising pace, everything about Raw’s version of this well known track was sheer perfection. Those lyrics were incredibly infectious and then you Rebecca’s powerful crisp vocals which resulted in something rather spellbinding.

Raw’s next song of the evening came in the shape of Freefall. I’ve got nothing but admiration for this dreamy track. Rebecca Raw’s vocals were vibrant and then you had those well written haunting lyrics which left me in an utter daze “What if there’s no ending/ What if it falls apart/ What if it takes forever/ What if it never stops/ What if I don’t make it/ Don’t make it through/ What if I prune and tend/ But these roses never bloom”. Anyhow Freefall was pure pop and a portion of this whimsical number reminded me of Scarlette Fever’s Crash And Burn. “I wanted it to be a conversational song so that really informed the melody and that was the core thing when writing it” Raw mentioned before ending with the mesmerising Connection. There was something rather epic about this compelling cut, Rebecca’s dreamy candy coated vocals had me in a trance and then you had those luscious lyrics which were highly addictive. Connection was a beautiful ballad with added splashes of emotion “I’m craving your affection/ Not because I need it/ Just because I want it/ I’m craving your attention/ Long enough to make an honest Connection”.

SET LIST

On Top Of The World
Rest
Whisper Thin
Big Yellow Taxi
Freefall
Connection

OVERALL: Rebecca Raw is a passionate performer who has something incredibly special. For starters she writes all her own material. The Deep Within EP is an utter spectacle and it was a real treat having the opportunity to hear 3 of those 5 song live (I advise you to check out the EP, the Cello creates something mind blowing).

Nothing can fault the set, the likes of Connection, Freefall and Whisper Thin were extraordinary (I anticipate the day when I see Rebecca perform Whisper Thin with Cello). Both On Top Of The World and Rest were both amazing. Then you had Rebecca Raw’s very own flawless take on Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi which literally astounded me.

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