It’s an early start at The Garage, and only a fortunate few of us have the privilege of witnessing the beginning of what promises to be a multi-faceted evening of music.
Hannah confidently wins the best hair competition, with her long blonde locks flowing over a gorgeous leather jacket. She greets the audience with her distinctive speaking voice, hinting at exciting things to come. As she begins her spellbinding set of elusive ghost stories, her versatile, rich, and emotive tones fill the darkening venue with increasing intensity. The ambiance is enhanced by a softly lit stage, casting coloured haze and mysterious long shadows across this fittingly dark cauldron of a space.
This scene is masterfully created, and this particular charm is cast—ethereal and enchanting. Hannah playfully describes herself as ‘the smiliest Goth you’ll ever meet,’ and as she purrs through her set, a perfect balance is struck between the macabre themes and the delicate airiness of her ingenious tone.
In “Tango with Your Fear,” the juxtaposition between Hannah’s sweet, syrupy resonance and the sinister, warning lyrics perfectly encapsulates what she later describes, to 1st 3 Magazine, as the delicious and electrifying sound of “Folk Rock Noir.” Hannah’s style is distinctive and compelling, her range wide and flexible, her magical voice enhanced by a skillful use of dynamics and timbre.
The Wiccan poetry in song continues with “Beast in the Water,” its hypnotic, whispering start narrating the story of the rivermen that reside in the water. Fast-moving notes illustrate the water’s movement, and Hannah’s mesmeric narrative is sung with her bewitching power.
“Goddess of Death,” a song about the Finnish Kalma, echoes the vintage feel of the lighting, its mournful lament imbued with raw emotion and storytelling mastery.
Hannah employs a controlled vibrato to showcase her contrastingly soaring and then sotto voce whispers in a stand out performance of “The Kissing Room,” carrying the weight of the lyrics with haunting grace. Her stage presence is magnetic, and the audience, which has been growing with every song, is compelled to pay attention to every subtle gesture and expression.
In the finale, the opening tremolo of “Feeding Time for Monsters,” followed by a swift and dramatic key change, showcases Hannah’s clever, atmospheric command of her genre. We are left in a state of reverie, our hearts and minds transported to the murky depths and glorious highs of the human soul.
This was perchance a performance that transcended mere music, creating a tapestry of emotions that lingered long after the last note had faded away — a journey through the shadows of the human experience, with each song weaving a tale that tugged at the heartstrings and left the audience spellbound.
The band’s performance was elevated by their impeccable musicianship; Babsy played the most iconic of all rock and roll guitars, a ghostly growling Gretsch, and handled the slide guitar effortlessly with a handy screwdriver, while Freddy’s hypnotic, controlled, and reassuring bass contributed to the intricate weave of sound.
Hannah Rose Platt and the band achieved a seamless merging of trance-inducing storytelling, a therapeutic soundbath within a meditation of melody, and we were enveloped in a thrilling and rewarding sonic embrace.
Hannah Rose Platt played on 28th January 2024 at The Garage, Highbury