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ALLIE MOSS, BT Showcase, BT Tower, London
7 May 2010

In an unlikely but enjoyable meeting of Roots Music with strategic corporate objectives at the top of the BT Tower in London, New Jersey singer-song writer Allie Moss enjoyed her 15 minutes of fame with a set comprising heartfelt songs and clever word plays.

Her BT Tower showcase was ostensibly to launch the company's new 'instant internet' fibre optics broadband campaign on the back of a very catchy Moss penned 'Corner'.

The immediate problem for Allie was how to transpose her snappily arranged recorded version– all plucked strings and polished production – into a solo acoustic setting.

For while 'Corner' is essentially minimalist in origin, the TV campaign song is coloured with dampened acoustic strings, harp, vibes, handclaps, and a string of vocalised 'doo doo's', 'oohs and aahs' and 'la la la's which make for the kind of infectious impact that probably drew her corporate sponsors to the song in the first place.

But like a true troubadour she made light of any potential problems by quickly establishing her musical song-writing credentials with a delicate but confident vocal range and gentle acoustic accompaniment.

She immediately showed her full range on the impressive opener 'Passerby' on which the stop-starts were as subtly effective as her earthy voice which cut through the silence with emotive purpose. 'Passerby' is the kind song where every breath, every 'hmmm' is full of feel.

And if that was a good start, she further impressed on a sad love song 'Melancholy Astronautic Man' complete with a wordy hook. Like Judie Sill all those years ago Allie Moss is a fine balladeer but an alt. indie folk artist with real presence, recalling the coffee house folk-rock of a previous age.

A brace of new songs suggested further clever narratives before she played one of her very best efforts, the mesmerising 'Late Bloomer'. The song featured a judicious use of deliberate phrasing, occasional pregnant pauses and a full vocal range from a sensual whisper to full falsetto. The song may not be autobiographical but certainly in terms of her belated blooming career it acts as the perfect metaphor.

And so to the song that brought us all to this unlikely venue, the very catchy 'Corner'. With a vague sense of recognition of the song the audience craned their necks, stood on their tip toes and emoted along with the new voice of BT.

Allie Moss may have struck gold with 'Corner', but she's got an equally interesting catalogue of songs on a par with her breakthrough song. This was a case of real potential being fulfilled in front of our very eyes.

Review by Pete Feenstra

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