Live Review
MICAH P HINSON AT QUEEN ELIZABETH HALL
Micah P. Hinson
Queen Elizabeth Hall
London
07/11/10

It’s what everyone says about him, but it’s true: Micah P Hinson is an unlikely country folk singer. Formerly a skateboarding nerd/prescription drug addict, he still (6 albums later) looks like a twitchy guy who works in a record shop. His voice is a booming, rasping and melancholic phenomena that makes Susan Boyle’s mismatch look/sound as desperately uninteresting as it really is. Tonight he plays with The Pioneer Saboteurs, who backed him on his latest LP. They’re a string quartet and, though I’d got the impression that there’d be a full orchestra, they conjured something symphonic, just the four of them.

The Texan’s delay settings enable a complimentary wailing string sound and though the feedback and field recordings that put an avant-garde spin on his records are absent, the songs are good enough to stand up on their own. His wife (who he famously proposed to at a Union Chapel show) appears June Carter-style to sing for two songs – one an up-tempo version of fan favourite ‘Beneath the Rose’. It would’ve all been sickeningly retro and twee if this musician wasn’t so likeable and brilliant.

By Edgar Smith

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Originally published in issue 23 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. November 2010