Susan moved to New York earlier this year, but the way she greeted almost every member of the crowd assembled in Rockwood Music Hall made it very clear that she’s settled in quickly. Rockwood sits right on the edge of the East Village and has been operating for about six months, hosting intimate musical gatherings in a bar-space that will accommodate maybe 50 people.
Joined by an upright bass player who will be joining her to record in Vancouver this summer, Susan delivered an assured set that demonstrated the strength and breadth of her writing. Most of the songs were familiar, but a couple of newer pieces were also evident and I’m definitely looking forward to hearing the new recording.
From Rockwood Music Hall it was a quick dash (with Susan, and a few of her friends) over to Sin-e to catch the debut New York performance by Bell X1. The Irish band recently had a song featured in The OC and were making a quick trip to the US to capitalise on that. We were deeply impressed.
A five-piece, the band made good use of the variations their membership allowed, basing themselves somewhere in the 80s-revival, but bringing in a touch of punk, and on at least one track, some great harmonies. We weren’t quite so impressed with the song that had brought them to these shores (their most generic) but the tune they announced as being from their forthcoming album was delightful, and is likely to make a top-notch single.
To top it all off, the New York City live music experience is blessedly smoke-free.