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Friday 8th September 2017
The Doghouse in Nottingham, UK
Reviews & Photography by Mark Holmes
The Doghouse, on the periphery of Nottingham's city centre, is a quaint and friendly little venue that embodies the true spirit of independence. And, tonight, it hosts Texan musician Erin Bennett, formerly of Syren and solo since 2015. With the EB Band in tow, she was here to air songs from her forthcoming new album, 'Post Sexy, Post Truth', alongside tried-and-tested tracks from her slowly expanding back catalogue of tunes.

Having not seen Erin live since her Syren days, around seven or eight years ago, what's immediately obvious, as tonight's show commences with new track 'Cold & Still', is just how much of an accomplished musician and performer she's become. I mean, she was great back in the day, but this is a whole new level. This uber talented Texan is a musically eminent force, stood at the threshold of immense success and, given the right break, that's precisely what she'll achieve.

Over the course of an hour, The Doghouse is filled with a fine blend of heavied-up raw power and refined performance polish. While Erin is billed as a solo artist, the EB Band flesh out her compositions in the most emotionally nourishing of ways. Considering the calibre of musician involved (former Rockbitch/MT-TV members, plus drummer extraordinaire Anna Fraser), this comes as no surprise. The gracefully choreographed symmetry of backing vocalists Suna and Kitty's synchronised movements provides a neat visual theatricality at either side of the stage, between which Erin lets rip with her exuberant rock intensities. Backed by the potent and masterful musicianship of Dog's bass work, Anna's drumming and Nikki's sublime keys, succulently atmospheric synth sounds and own backing vocal contributions, it all results in an emotionally explosive performance that offers a delectable feast for both the eyes and ears. And the small crowd gathered in this underrated Nottingham venue fervently lap up the sonic fodder that blasts from the PA.

Erin, however, remains the central focus of this performance, with her dominant stage presence, impressively wide vocal range, and fretboard attacks, as her heavied-up compositions are delivered with all the self-assurance and vigour of an artist destined for big things. New tracks 'Tension', 'Home' and 'Hecate', alongside older material like 'Elevate', '(You Will Not) Escape This' and 'Come On Now', are all emotionally engaging songs in their live incarnations; brought to life with a fine balance between timbre, energy and fervour, that helps convey each composition's mood shifts and mellow/heavy contrasts. And it's all mightily tight... it's great to see Anna frequently looking across at Dog's bass... the duo provide a solid rhythmic backbone.

After this evening's show, it's evident that Erin Bennett has become a formidable talent that should, by rights, see her propelled into far wider recognition. With her new album due out later this year, coupled with blazingly delicious live shows, such as the one in Nottingham tonight, 2017 might very well be her year to truly shine.
Click on thumbnails for larger images:
Erin Bennett at The Doghouse in Nottingham, UK, 8th September 2017
Photograph copyright 2017 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
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