Monday 23rd October, 2017
Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham
This was Oli Rockberger’s final gig of his first UK tour as a bandleader where he was joined by BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Hannah Read, who also features on his latest album Sovereign.
Although this was a tour to promote the album this gig was more than simply a playthrough of the album tracks as Rockberger took advantage of Read’s vocal talents to explore some of his earlier material from his Old Habits album, including Queen of Evasion as well as the title track.
Rockberger’s new music is in a similar vein, with sounds of Americana and European folk music blending with jazz piano riffs and improvisations.
Rockberger’s performance was full of honesty, with pleading tracks such as Is Anybody Out There? as well as some catchy tunes like Vertigo and the unrecorded exclusive I’ll Go Mine blending his falsetto voice with Irish folk elements.
Violinist and vocalist Hannah Read was a revelation, aided by jazzers Michael Janisch on bass and Giorgio Serci on guitar.
The final tune, Ridiculous, served as a drum feature for Marijus Aleksa and is also one of the highlights of Rockberger’s album Sovereign, available on Whirlwind Recordings.