I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect when one of York’s singer, song-writers Paul Lewis asked me to review his latest project, “Lost Hours”.
Review and Photos by Martin Frank
His dreamy songs are reminiscent of Bert Bacharach and those lazy summer days of the late sixties and I find that they transport you to somewhere warm and cosy like cuddling with a loved one by a roaring fire making them precious and rare. With the arrival of Lowri Dixon as another singer song-writer I was excited to see what Carl Hetherington on keyboards, Rebecca Burden on cello contributed to his unique sound. Having Alistair Hamilton on bass had worked well previously but I really wasn’t sure how having a band could fill songs that were already written in gold.
From the very first moment I knew something important had happened since I’d last seen Paul perform, even before he sang, he was smiling, full of confidence and joking with the band. Here was a shy guy standing proud with a band of friends, no longer was he too modest to introduce himself, here was a new Paul. “When you’re near,” he sings out happy to share and finally proud of his songs, re-vitalised and brimming with energy.
Lost Hours are magical, they’ve taken Paul’s perfectly formed songs and brought them to life in ways I never thought possible. Lowri is a gem, she doesn’t just sing along and harmonise now and again she grabs his lyrics and makes them real. Her gritty, sassy, sexy voice takes his lyrics and turns his jazzy tunes, shades of blue. The keyboards are an almost imperceptible but add depth to their sound that Alistair on bass can’t do alone and Lowri adds kudos, depth and dimension to the songs making the sound vibrant and mesmerising. Then just when I didn’t think it could get better enter Rebecca on cello, adding another level of tone and emotion.
Sharing When You’re Near and Days Like This, I never get tired of hearing Paul’s songs and Lowri’s enthusiasm and input into their re-creation shows and then something new. Another string to the bow of Lost Hours, they are a band and it was time to hear the other side. I have to say that I was blown away by the power and emotion Lowri releases in performing her own songs with Paul looking on smiling as wide as Cheshire cat. Watching Paul and Lowri performing together is magical, they bounce of each other and you feel a mutual sharing of creativity in what is I feel the emergence of a great new band. Paul’s songs are pure eighteen carat gold and Lowri is the perfect diamond to go with it, this evolution of his old songs, this new energetic enthusiasm, this meeting of like minds humbles me to have been a witness to this new birth. But just as when I first heard Paul last year on his own and with Alistair, I had two words to say to him, Al Bum, you’ve got a finished product here you really need to share this with the world.
Lost Hours played at Micklegate Social on Thursday 7 March 2019.