Live Review: Jo Quail – Bodega, Nottingham
10th May 2023
Support: Dead Space Chamber Music
Words: Rick Eaglestone
Photos: Sean Larkin
On a brisk Wednesday night, I ventured out to a location opposite of the gothic décor of The Pit and the Pendulum, my destination was the bohemian bodega to see a performance by internationally acclaimed composer and virtuoso cellist Jo Quail who is currently on her first UK headline tour.
Joining Jo for this is the duo of Bristol’s Dead Space Chamber Music. From the outset the atmosphere was that of one of tranquil yet there was the essence of a beating dark heart, honestly everyone there was immediately immersed with the emanating soundscapes coming from the stage and even one-point broken ceramics were used a percussion, honestly throughout the set you could honestly hear a pin drop as that was how much the audience were appreciate of their performance. They certainly made a new fan here as I walked away with both of their albums on cassette.
Up next was the headliner herself, Jo Quail who you could immediately tell was so appreciate of the attendance for a mid-week show but at the time was humble with it. Whilst interacting with the audience Jo is eloquent and engaging but once she starts playing there is an intensity that immediately grabs your attention.
Her main musical output is one of an electronic nature and tracks such as 'Whilst Salt Stag' and 'Gold' were included but the classical element is still very much in her heart and soul and alongside this we were also treated to some haunting and emotional acoustic cello on the lovingly named Ferdinand on which Jo performed parts one and two of 'The Hidden Forest' alongside and unreleased / work in process piece that I truly hope make it onto a future release.
Towards the end of the ninty minute performance Jo was joined on stage my Dead Space Chamber Music vocalist Ellen Southern which added a wonderfully rich and ritualistic dynamic and her encore consisted of new track 'Embrace' and 'Forge' from her 'Exsolve' album.
It is certainly a performance that will stay with me and now everybody concerned are fully on my radar.
An ethereal and captivating experience.