The Rachel Hamer Band at Chesham Folk Club
Welcome to our page. Take a little time to have look around our site and get to know us. Our first EP has received favourable reviews which you can hear a sample of and purchase from this site. We are available for bookings, just drop us an email at email@example.com and we will get back to you.
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The Rachel Hamer Band x
The Newcastle-based Rachel Hamer Band (comprising Rachel herself, Saltburn fiddler/clog-dancer Grace Smith, Teesside guitarist Graeme Armstrong and Glossop multi-instrumentalist Sam Partridge), is one of those highly enviable performing units that seems to have arrived on the scene fully formed, thoroughly assured and confident with a well-defined musical identity and keen sense of presence and purpose. Unbelievably, this four-piece only got together a year or so ago, yet has already made a healthy mark on its native north-east.
Its formidable presence is communicated in the group photo that adorns this debut EP: bold and clear-sighted in attitude, these guys mean business, but at the same time there's a sense of skilled balance in the composition that well reflects the musical contents too. The internal dynamics of the lineup (at its most basic fiddle, whistle, guitar and voice) are well construed, and arguably even more persuasive when propelled with a guest rhythm section, as on three out of the four tracks here, notably the busy, bouncy opening item The Witchfinder General, which intermingles the Causton/Sheppard original song with an animated reel composed by Grace and almost incidentally features some adept vocal interplay along the way between the gorgeously-voiced Rachel herself and her male and female colleagues.
The band then turns in a deliciously Celtic-tinged drifting treatment of the traditional Her Bright Smile (Haunts Me Still) - which well demonstrates the virtue of rest within a song structure while keeping things moving. Individual instrumental lines are employed sparingly on the ballad William And Mary, whereas the EP's concluding track, Lonely Waterloo, is arguably the pick of the bunch, on which Rachel's cannily phrased singing comes into its own against a brooding drone backdrop. Rachel and her band have produced a mightily impressive calling-card here, although I can't altogether escape a slight aftertaste of "is it all just a touch too accomplished to be true?" (the challenge will now be for time to prove me wrong!).