Emma Dean and Francesca de Valence's 'Songs of Love and War'
This was the first time I’d gone to the Armidale Club exclusively for a concert, not for a few drinks and an embarrassing game of pool. And I might never go back for another concert, because Emma Dean and Francesca de Valence’s Songs of Love and War tour will be hard to beat. When I interviewed the two lovely and energetic musicians before the show, Dean and de Valence spoke of the inspiration they feel from watching people do things they’re passionate about, and if I was a better musician than I am I would have been inspired to go home and write a hundred songs because of their passion.
The show alternated between songs from both musicians, and Dean’s cabaret-esque ‘A Mess A Mess’ kicked the show off with excited gusto. de Valence’s songs were quieter than Dean’s but no less exciting: the sweet piano was the perfect accompaniment to her angelic voice. The duo played one song by their band Emma and the Hungry Truth, which left me very excited and eagerly awaiting the theatrical pop band’s first album.
There was never a dull moment and never a dull note. Dean and de Valence jumped between instruments during the night, and I was in awe of their control over and finesse with the piano, the violin, the drums, and, my favourite, the melody horn (for high-school music class nostalgia only - the melody horn doesn’t come close to the power brought to the show by the violin).
Their songs are brilliant showcases of songwriting in their solo form, but Dean and de Valence playing together brought a new life to them, one filled with dynamic sounds and excitement – and that passion I mentioned; both musicians looked totally delighted to be on stage playing music. 100% passionate.