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6th December 2014

Live: Hollie Cook

Cook’s voice stands out, but she lacks engagement

26th November

Night & Day


Hollie Cook took to the stage with ease, despite it being her first solo tour. Perhaps known for her family (her father is Paul Drummer of the Sex Pistols and her mother sang for The Culture Club) Cook’s eclectic music influence is clear in her self named ‘tropical pop’ tinged with dub and ska. Considered a sound accompaniment for tracks such as ‘And The Beat Goes On’ (with Prince Fatty), Cook has finally found space in the musical market for her own gig, promoting her new album Twice.

The bar was overheated, and Cook was clad in a beautiful banana print skirt that reminded us all there was hope for a summer after these cold Manchester nights. Everyone was bopping along, a mixed crowd of all ages, and Cook was happy and merry, and clearly a bit overwhelmed. At points, we were transported to the seaside with Cook’s sultry tracks of ‘Tiger Balm’ and ‘Cry’ and the most popular track ‘Milk and Honey’. Giving us treats of new tracks such as ‘Superfast’, laced with electro tones and synthesisers, Cook displayed her music variety and talent, straying from the more standard rhythm of ska and reggae tracks that can start to feel repetitive.

Yet Cook herself was a bit distant. One could excuse the lack of engagement for the type of music that was played, relaxed and at moments almost like a lullaby, yet when other singer-songwriters can create a dynamic with the crowd instantly, I question if Cook was really there with the audience.

Cook’s voice stands out and is full of soothing tones and we got glimmers of a fun and mischievous performer. Yet I can’t help but think that with a little more engagement with the audience, Cook’s performance would have shone brighter.

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