Hypnotic is the word to describe Anna Calvi in performance, flowing guitar licks matched to volcanic emotion in her vocals. Apt since her psychotherapist parents, when she was growing up in Putney, used to practise hypnotherapy on her. Add to that her own devotion to surrealism and you get a sense of the 33-year-old singer songwriter’s creative wellsprings. Not for nothing has she been compared with Patti Smith and PJ Harvey. Take her second album, One Breath, the autumn follow-up to her Mercury-nominated self-titled debut. It again demonstrates the Jimi Hendrix-inspired guitar skills she adopted as second fiddle (sic) to her violin skills as an eight-year-old. The songs were written in the night-time when no one else was around – and yes, it does delve into some pretty dark places. Expect, though, it all to be a more uplifting experience live. She will be backed by Mally Harpaz on guitar, harmonium and percussion, and Daniel Maiden on drums, for some epic Gothic work-outs. In a recent Independent interview, accused of a certain scary wildness, she countered: “It is funny because I don’t see myself like that, but when you’re being really strong and forceful there’s a sense of wildness that perhaps could feel scary.”

Thu 6 Feb, Albert Hall, 27 Peter Street M2 3QR. Tel 0844 8588521. 7.30pm, £14adv. Book now: www.seetickets.com

Thu 6 Feb
Neil Sowerby
Published on:
Tue 4 Feb 2014