Live Music + Gig Reviews

Tanya Donelly @ ULU, London

28 February 2002

A cold London night welcomed Tanya Donelly to Euston Square’s ULU on Thursday night as the former Throwing Muses guitarist’s dulcet tones reverberated harmoniously over her band’s melancholic, pop sensibilities.

Following enlivened support slots by Mary Lorsen and Goldrush earlier in the evening, the singer/songwriter’s inspirational set consisted mainly of songs from Love Songs For Underdogs and material from her new album, Beautysleep.

Opening the evening with the uplifting quirkiness of The Storm, Tanya melts the crystalline pop of the first few songs with anthemic American country rock. Dean Fisher’s weeping guitar provides a glorious soundscape for the competent vocalist as she takes us through the backbone of her new album.

Experimenting with the sentimental balladeering of Jewel and Dido, blessed with unashamedly country influences, Tanya’s new solo material showcases extraordinarily touching songs, laced with jangly instrumentation. Not afraid to show her influences, her songs show a real depth and class beyond her years.

The breathtaking Keeping You strikes a chord with Tanya’s eager fans, its minimal beats sounding majestic under her sweet, saccharine voice whilst the gig’s climax in The Night You Saved My Life is an energetic blast of radio-friendly pop, blending the sugary commerciality of Natalie Imbruglia with the traditional songwriting of Carole King.

Tanya Donelly provides a fine mix of gentle, upbeat pop songs and emotional ballads. The intimate settings of ULU worked in her favour as she performed to a very appreciative audience and her fusion of folk, country, rock and pop, although likely to appeal to American audiences more than British followers, is truly inspired.

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More on Tanya Donelly
Tanya Donelly @ Bush Hall, London
Tanya Donelly – Whiskey Tango Ghosts
Tanya Donelly @ ULU, London
Tanya Donelly – Beautysleep