February 14, 2017
Servant Jazz Quarters, London
“A song that is not our fault”
Olandra is a band led by Aleksandra Woźniak who is also known as Ola. It’s fitting that a woman with such diverse musical styles would have a range of identities to choose from; one doesn’t seem enough.
Self-described as “partial to pianos, guitars and good literature,” all of these made an appearance during the quirky, jazzy, funky, rocking set.
Never more so than in Alice, inspired both in themes and tone by Alice in Wonderland, complete with existential lyrics, deep double bass accents, a string section and a vocal line reminiscent of Kate Bush.
The ‘song that is not our fault’ was a Polish number with quality that shone through even to those of us that didn’t understand the language, the funky bass line translating enough musically.
Andy Gregory also stepped up on guitar for a Valentine’s Day duet.
However, the showstopper came as Ola stepped into the crowd for The French Song, framed with sweet harmonies from the string players.
Check out facebook.com/olandramusic for tour dates, music and videos.
” A little shuffle, a little boogie – you’ve only got one song to do that!”
Hackney band Hazey Jane (not to be confused with Dundee’s The Hazey Janes) were on home turf in this Dalston basement and it was clear they brought a fan base with them.
Not just a receptive crowd to singalong to songs like Force Feed and Shadow and Shade, or to appreciate the band’s interesting solos and drum fills, but also to gently mock singer Bobby for his dodgy jokes about Drop C guitar tuning and for dedicating a Valentine’s Day ballad to “the love of my life, Donald Trump.”
Luckily, what the lad lacks in stand-up comic potential he more than makes up for in vocal aptitude. He showcased a distinctive mellow growl, somehow both soft and powerful.
Although they describe themselves as indie folksters, there’s more than a hint of 90s modern-rock filling out the band’s sound. That warm, deep vocal was reminiscent of Bush’s Gavin Rossdale, as was the band’s switch between gentle, relaxing, introspective songs like Mother’s Lie and reverb-heavy, Drop *D* tuned tunes. There was a pop rock sensibility too, with guitar solos high on the neck, like Better Than Ezra.
Finally, with 90s (via the 1790s) long-haired looks, it was great to find that their Interview With A Vampire vibe went one step further: the guitarist’s called Laurent. And we found that out in the greatest way. Introducing Walk With Me, Bobby explained “this is one of Laurent’s and he’s gonna sing it…because he won’t let me.”
Visit hazeyjane.com to buy their new EP, Us On A Wire.
“You can find me on social media once a moth or so. I say hello and then I disappear”
It was fitting to see Johanna Glaza in a windowless room surrounded by dark wood as it conjured up visions of a log cabin, just the kind of environment you’d expect to hear her siren sound.
With songs like Space Mermaid and Arctic, Glaza shared a wintry, idiosyncratic outlook through ukelele, keyboard, humming and a memorising falsetto.
Glaza has described herself as baroque folk, not a bad way to fuse the discordancy and lo-fi elements of her introspective approach.
As if to add to the mystery of her stage presence, her website is just as intriguing. It simply says “Johanna Glaza will return shortly…”
You can find music and minimal information at facebook.com/JohannaGlaza
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