Hazel English Live at London Calling Festival, Amsterdam/Paradiso 27-5-2017
Last minute guest list…arriving late…her music wafting towards me from somewhere, I follow my ears up the stairs of Paradiso. The room looks almost empty and Hazel is experiencing some problems with her red Telecaster. Exit band. In the meantime, I get a beer and the room starts filling up. By the time they get back on stage it is full. Perfect timing.
Hazel has been on the road now almost permanently since November last year, and it clearly looks like the intensive touring has paid off. Last year I found an almost shy singer who was still a bit uncomfortable with crowds and a guitarist who was over the moon with the guitar the label just got him. Now, at their last date of the tour, I see a band that has clearly grown into a solid unity and an almost flawless performance as a result. Routinous in a good way! They have been really lucky with the weather as well: it is one of the hottest days ever in Amsterdam!
The set kicks off with “Fix”, titled appropriately so: Hazel’s songs are most definitely addictive! I can listen to them on repeat without ever getting bored, which is a rare thing! My musical cravings are furthermore rewarded with some favourites from the new “Just Give In” EP, like the more upbeat “Birthday” and the swoony “More like You” that has me stand, once again, in awe of Dave who switches smoothly from the most heavenly guitar playing to hazy keyboards and assisting in vocals. Hazel has definitely grown in the area of songwriting, singing, and performing (a pair of high heels also do the trick ;-).
There are a lot of people crowding around the stage, pulling out camera’s the size of a block of flats – as befitting the London Calling Festival these days – but, looking at the crowd, I don’t see anybody recognising the songs, let along sing along to them, (apart from yours truly). They do warm up to Hazel after a few songs and she actually gets some beardy types dancing.
The set is short but sweet and ends with “Never Going Home” which is sadly not the case….hope to see them again some day soon! It was a magical summer night….