On the day that she was announced as BBC Introducing artist of the week, I was lucky enough to catch a performance from Leeds vocalist, Hannah Trigwell at The Chameleon Arts Cafè in Nottingham.
Dubbed ‘The Peoples Popstar’, guitarist, singer and songwriter Hannah has earned a global fanbase on YouTube, amassing over 100 million views and is now touring in support of the release of her debut album of original songs, ‘Red’.
If you’ve never been to The Chameleon Arts Cafè, you probably wouldn’t know it’s there. Tucked away on Angel Row in Nottingham, above a card shop, the performance area is a little like a cross between a library and someones unfinished house, and for tonight’s performance it also has the heat of a sauna.
Credit to Hannah for an unfaltering performance. Ever the professional she learnt her trade busking in Leeds before going on to top charts in Asia. The 27 year old is known for her original songs, covers and Vlogs, by 2014 she had her first no.1 hit in Vietnam and Laos in 2015. With great success internationally and online, the story was picked up by ITV’s ‘Lorraine’ She has performed alongside a list of recognisable names including Stereophonics, Faithless, Sigma, Jess Glynne and Gabrielle Aplin at the Isle of Wight Festival. Hannah is also one of the artists chosen by Skoda to participate in the Skoda/Paloma Faith ‘Make Your Own Kind Of Music’
Alone on the stage, other than her speakers, guitars and foot pedal, Hannah produces a bar bigger sound using layered guitar and vocals constructed by sampling parts live, and using a loop pedal unit to create the backing track. A method used by both KT Tunstall and a certain Mr Ed Sheeran – who is said to be a fan of Hannah.
Hannah treats us to a selection of ‘admittedly stalkerish songs about relationships’ from her album along with some other fan favourites
Opening with the first number from the album “Is It Wrong’, you could describe her style as soft indie acoustic rock with a slice of Alanis Morrisette. ‘Never Gonna Do That Again’ follows and then the title track ‘Red’, and ‘I Blame You’.
Hannah encourages the warm but attentive audience to join in on the track ‘Okay’ before sharing with us one of her favourite tracks from the album ‘Miss You’
Hannah’s friendly banter between numbers and when we chat later off stage reveals behind the melancholy that there is a generally happy person. ‘Play It Again’ which is next on the set list being one of the happier songs from the album. On stage she seems at ease with herself and her music, shaking fuelled by adrenaline rather than nerves.
The most ballady number is up next, ‘Without You’, it’s also one of the first she penned for the album. ‘Taboo’ follows, a track which I believe they are filming at each gig to knit together to produce a video (By they I mean Hannah’s manager Mark. Who it turns out is really nice guy who is accompanying Hannah on the tour)
The set ends with ‘You Never Really Noticed’, but of course there’s a deserved encore of ‘Another Beautiful Mistake’ much to the delight of the audience, who seem to consist of fans old and new as well as members of the support acts.
It’s a small room for an artist who has won ‘Best Unsigned Artist’ in the Online Music Awards and performed in front of sold-out crowds alongside Jess Glynne, Jake Bugg and Boyce Avenue as well as performing to thousands of fans in the Middle East.
Quite why Hannah Trigwell still isn’t a huge household name in the UK is a mystery, but I’m guessing it won’t be that way for long.
By Tanya Louise
Disclaimer: My tickets were complimentary but my views are my own.