Burning Salt Live In London

Burning Salt
Photograph by Jean-Francois C. Lemay

Burning Salt have a knack when it comes to finding interesting venues. The last time I saw them was at Shrewsbury Unitarian Church, an impressive venue associated historically with Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Charles Darwin. And on 28th September I had the privilege of seeing them at a ‘secret gig’ in the oldest house in Bloomsbury. But the honesty and searing quality of a Burning Salt performance are well in tune with the angst of Britain in 2019.

This time, Hannah Hull and John Parker performed nineteen songs from which the tracks comprising their next album, Close To Home, will be selected, with Hannah’s unmistakeable low-register vocals supported by her own guitar and piano and John’s outstanding double bass work.

Many songwriters hide behind a self-protective veneer of storytelling that might have roots in fact or fiction. Hannah Hull’s writing is more direct, and stunning in its integrity and emotional impact. In her own words: “These are some of my most direct and intimate songs yet, including an early song written when I was just fifteen which I have never shared before. Songwriting has been a survival mechanism for me since I was teenager, and this album contains my private reflections on self-abuse and self-resurrection.

Not an obvious candidate for enormous commercial success, then, but on the evidence of the Bloomsbury performance, musical success is guaranteed. And it does occur to me that one song with light blues overtones called ‘Groundskeeper’ – performed here with Hannah’s vocal accompanied only by John’s bass – might just be surprisingly successful if it were released as a single.

You can find out more about the album from the crowdfunding page here, and you might even feel inspired to contribute (I was!).

David Harley

Artist’s website: https://burningsalt.com/

There are no videos of this material so far. Here’s a good version of ‘Ginnie’ from the Dirt EP [reviewed at https://folking.com/burning-salts-love-letter-to-holloway-womens-prison/].

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