It was the final, highly anticipated date on Wovenhand’s Star Treatment tour, an album departing the band’s dark folk period and looking back to 16 Horsepower’s hard rock edge. Joining Wovenhand on their European tour is gothic-tinged singer-songwriter Emma Ruth Rundle. While I was largely unfamiliar with Wovenhand save for a quick binge listen a few nights before, I could tell this was a devoted audience, expecting great things, and that’s what they got.
I never miss a chance to see Emma Ruth Rundle perform, especially solo, knowing I’ll get to hear some of my absolute favourite songs in a completely different light. We were treated to a mix of material from her last two solo albums, as well as two very welcome selections from her time writing as The Nocterns (Grandmother Make A Steeple and London Town), but Heaven and Run Forever stood out. Those familiar with her last two albums know that there’s quite a lot going on instrumentally, but solo she mostly plays a distorted acoustic guitar, and on couple of songs was joined by a violinist, most notably on Grandmother Make A Steeple, which suddenly had a beautiful new dimension from the version on Aokigahara.
Hearing these stripped back versions was a real treat, and really let Rundle’s exceptional lyricism shine through in a way I feel they often don’t on her albums because there’s often so much to listen to. It allowed me to fall in love with these songs all over again, hearing them stripped down and rearranged, sometimes to the point where it was hard to tell what the song was until she started singing. I always value performances that give me something that the albums don’t, and Rundle never fails to highlight a different dimension of her music in a live setting.
Read full article at Echoes and Dust.