PHOTOS / RECAP: Jesca Hoop, Dancing Years @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 6/29/12

Victoria’s been traveling this summer after her graduation and she just caught this amazing show in Leeds… –Editor

Jesca Hoop, native to California but living in Manchester for the last few years, played to an intimate crowd on Friday, June 29th, at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, England. As more and more people arrived, they chose to sit down on the floor rather than crowd the stage. Openers Dancing Years from Leeds set the tone with their reflective, stripped down songs. Only three members of the usual six took the stage, but the quieter set was a great precursor to Jesca’s cerebral folk and rock songs. Viewers watched with intense admiration and rapt attention; one could hear a pin drop between words as she performed her first song, “Murder of Birds,” from her second full length album Hunting My Dress.

She punctuated each song with anecdotes and memories, drawing the crowd in further. One story was too funny not to share: As a child, her youngest brother Benjamin had to wear a cast for a broken arm for an entire summer. The family went to stay by a lake and frequently went swimming, causing the boy’s cast to reek after a few weeks. His mother told him that he was not to go swimming again, and the cast was replaced. One Sunday a few weeks later, the family was gathering to go to church in their finest, and the boy reached up and asked his Dad to smell his cast. The unsuspecting father leant down and gave the cast a whiff, and proceeded to vomit all over the little boy. After the crowd roared with laughter, Jesca went on to say that this caused the shocked Benjamin to vomit all over his father in return. “We didn’t make it to church that Sunday,” she concluded.

Stories like these lended sometimes comical, sometimes bittersweet insight into Jesca’s lyrics, which are never lacking in their poetic richness. Much of the set was dedicated to tracks off of her new record and third full length album, The House that Jack Built, released on June 25th. “When I Sleep,” even featured Jesca holding the mic as she danced around the stage and sang at a faster pace. The new songs are a wonderful addition to her already stunning work, and her live show continues to please audiences.