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Ida Mae review: Endearing charm filled performance fuelled by an intense passion for music and songwriting

PUBLISHED: 10:51 13 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:51 13 March 2019

Ida Mae headlining Norwich Arts Centre. Photo: Robert Walkley

Ida Mae headlining Norwich Arts Centre. Photo: Robert Walkley

Robert Walkley

Norwich's own Ida Mae, with support from local act Ginny Dix, put on an incredible show to a sold out Norwich Arts Centre last night.

Ginny Dix supporting Ida Mae at Norwich Arts Centre. Photo: Robert WalkleyGinny Dix supporting Ida Mae at Norwich Arts Centre. Photo: Robert Walkley

Ginny Dix took her place on stage at 8.30pm behind a solitary keyboard to what was an already half-full Norwich Arts Centre (NAC).

She introduced herself timidly, barely audible above the chatter of the crowd, and swiftly began her set.

From the moment she began playing the room was captivated, drawn in to her beautifully atmospheric sound - something perfectly fitting for the NAC.

Her voice was stunning and her songwriting absolutely mesmerising, bringing a hush over the audience who barely seemed to breathe during her performance.

Ida Mae headlining Norwich Arts Centre. Photo: Robert WalkleyIda Mae headlining Norwich Arts Centre. Photo: Robert Walkley

With minimal interaction between songs it seems that music is what brings Ginny Dix alive - which is an incredible thing to witness. It completely takes her over as she goes from quietly introducing songs to unleashing this incredibly powerful voice that gives you chills.

She is an absolute treasure and we are very lucky to have such an incredibly authentic talent coming out of Norwich. If you are able to get out and support our local music scene then she is definitely one to watch.

The venue continued to fill up during the interval with people of all ages coming together to watch some great music on what was a miserable English evening.

Despite the rain, the show was completely sold out, something that never ceases to impress me when an artist isn’t necessarily ‘well known’.

Husband and wife duo Ida Mae, aka Chris and Stephanie, arrived on stage promptly to start their set. They were joined by a double bass player who is a recent addition to their set having only performed a handful of shows with them.

With very few tracks currently available to listen to online, much of the audience were eager to see how the evening would pan out.

The set was opened with 2018 single My Girl Is A Heartbreak, and what a way to kick off a set that was. We were immediately blown away by Chris’ incredible talent on the guitar as he played some quality blues-infused country/Americana riffs.

Their voices entwined together in beautiful harmony, perfectly complimenting each other. The magic really lies in the intimacy of their performance and the chemistry they have up on stage. The connection they have just makes their set even more special.

Their sound on tracks like If You Don’t Love Me and Feel Them Getting Closer is very reminiscent of The Civil Wars - but much more intense. This is by no means a negative comment, this quality is what makes them such an incredible duo to watch and it will see them go far.

Despite drawing on influences from multiple genres, Ida Mae have made a sound that is completely unique to them. Chris’ voice is spectacular and instantly recogniseable, likewise with Stephanie who was equally as fantastic in her solo parts.

Throughout the evening we were treated to songs off their upcoming debut album, which is due for release in June, as well as the few previously released songs that fans have grown to love.

From start to finish Ida Mae’s performance oozed class, a natural quality that they both possess. Despite mentioning that they needed to work on their confidence on stage, it never once deterred from their show. It didn’t come across as nerves, just an endearing charm fuelled by an intense passion for music and songwriting.

Ida Mae are a top class duo who deserve even more exposure then they have currently received. Judging by the crowd’s rapturous applause at the end of the set, which led to a two-song encore, the duo are only at the start of what I hope will be along and successful career.

• For more Norwich music check out our dedicated page every Thursday in the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News or follow Enjoy Music More on Twitter and Instagram

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