It was a special treat to see my cousin, Nell Ryder perform. Having worked on her sound and style for the last five years she has now developed into an impressive singer-songwriter.
Walking into the Bowery, I was overwhelmed by how many faces I recognised. Family and fans gathered to support Nell and listen to her newest material. The venue is used regularly for gigs and has a nice warm acoustic.
Nell’s voice has matured considerably since I last heard her, it has a lovely husky quality in the lower register while remaining clear and in tune. She has a gutsy soulful delivery that suits the repertoire well. Nell’s own songs are lilting and lyrical, most often quite melancholic, even mournful. She has a very personal quality to her voice that I can only describe as a bleat (like a lamb), a very beautiful natural wobble (it is not accenuated enough to be called vibrato) adding great emotion to her singing. Nell also presented a few old school covers, mostly retro love songs she particularly likes, sung softly into the microphone with her gentle guitar accompaniment they were very touching. In between songs she spoke frankly and naturally to the audience.
As Nell mentioned onstage before her final number, “the best love songs are always the simplest”… her own songs follow this rule: very simple, often repetitive, floating melodies that really stick in your head; they are thoughtful and memorable. It was a short but intimate and lovely gig.
Visit Nell Ryder’s website here.