The Water Rats, five min­utes’ walk from King’s Cross sta­tion, has under­gone a refur­bish­ment and now has a styl­ish and min­i­mal­ist inte­ri­or – but what the venue is to be con­grat­u­lat­ed over is its com­mit­ment to live music. The inti­mate music room, which is in the back room, has been sim­i­lar­ly upgrad­ed and offers a very wel­com­ing space for most­ly up-and-com­ing musi­cians. (Sept 24th – the pub has had a fur­ther refur­bish­ment – please recheck web­site before going).

Lucy Wain­wright, daugh­ter of Suzzy Roche and Loudon Wain­wright III, per­formed here on Tues­day, equal­ly billed with Hol­ly Ler­s­ki. Suzzy has an aura of hip­py glam­our about her, Lucy is defined by her refresh­ing­ly ‘non star­ry’ qual­i­ty, she comes across as a well-bal­anced indi­vid­ual who has­n’t been raised in a celebri­ty bubble.

Lucy Wainwright, Suzzy Roche

Open­ing num­ber is Suzzy Roche’s Every­body writes a G Chord Song, and the mag­i­cal har­monies are an imme­di­ate draw, Suzzy’s low­er reg­is­ter anchor­ing their vocals. What is unex­pect­ed are the humor­ous and often lengthy anec­dotes between each num­ber. Sto­ries revolv­ing around: dri­ving in Britain and hav­ing to guess the speed lim­it, big cars and small park­ing spaces, and Lucy’s tale of a date which went unex­pect­ed­ly wrong. At one point Lucy asks if we have any ques­tions for her, which is just one ben­e­fit of being at such an ‘inti­mate’ gig.


We also learn the back­sto­ry to many of the songs, such as Lucy’s sto­ry about the hor­ror of hav­ing to sit for a por­trait when she was small. There are impres­sive­ly sen­si­tive cov­ers, too, such as Call Your Girl­friend, with its goose-bumps lyrics, which brings out the puri­ty of Lucy’s voice, and The Bea­t­les’ For No One. The final num­ber is Simon & Gar­funkel’s Amer­i­ca, a song we all join in with.

Things run a lit­tle less smooth­ly for Nor­folk songstress Hol­ly Ler­s­ki – at least to start with. The first act has been allowed to run over time quite con­sid­er­ably, Wain­wright and Roche are sell­ing and sign­ing CDs with their legion of fans and Hol­ly has to find her equi­lib­ri­um. It takes her a few num­bers into her short­ened set to get into her stride, although when she gets going we can appre­ci­ate the lush warmth of her voice.

Holly Lerski

Most of the mate­r­i­al is from her new album, record­ed at home in her shed, hence the album’s name –  The Wood­en House. Like Lucy before her, she pre­cedes each song with an anec­dote although there is less time for her to engage with her audi­ence. Title song The Wood­en House and the catchy Build­ing You the Ark I found par­tic­u­lar­ly appeal­ing. She con­cen­trates on new mate­r­i­al and there’s lit­tle from the past although she does play My Love from Life is Beau­ti­ful. Hol­ly and her band are on tour over the sum­mer, and hope­ful­ly she will be able to make a con­sid­er­able num­ber of new fans and her qui­et charm will be allowed to flower.


WHO: Lucy Wain­wright Roche and Suzzy Roche, Hol­ly Lerski
WHEN: June 2, 2015
WHERE: The Water Rats, London


One thought on “Lucy Wainwright Roche & Suzzy Roche, and Holly Lerski, at the Water Rats

  1. Pingback: Festival update: more events for summer and beyond | Gourmet gigs

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