REVIEW: Misshaped Pearls - Diss Corn Hall

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The Corn Hall was treated to one last night of live music before its closure for refurbishment by Misshaped Pearls, who provided a fitting swan song for the venue with their elegiac, pastoral music.

Support was from Daisy Vaughn, a local artist with an astonishing voice. Accompanied by her guitar, she provided the perfect contrast to the headline act’s big sounds.

Fronted by the imposing figure of Manuela Schuette, the aptly named Misshaped Pearls defy categorisation. Massimo Troiani’s basslines are reminiscent of Afro Celt Sound System, while Andrew Sleightholme’s loops trigger memories of Hawkwind.

There are moments of Steve Reich in Tom Finigan’s insistent mandolin, while Laurel Pardue’s emphatic violin brought to mind Ennio Morricone. Whatever the inspiration, all of it was beautifully performed by this super talented seven piece band.

The Corn Hall’s commitment to folk music has made it a key venue for traditional music. It is fitting this final performance came from a band so radically redefining the genre.

DAVID VASS