Star rating – 3/10
I love Hey Manchester gigs, and I really enjoy concerts in sacred settings, but this one just didn’t do it for me at all. Gemma Hayes has a lovely voice, and the Grade II listed St Ann’s Church is just as lovely. But beyond that I’m afraid I’m struggling to find positivity.
Irish solo singer Hayes is allegedly a combination of prog rock, folk, and electronic. If that’s the case it’s not an enchanting mix. Her basic guitar technique reminded me more of Smokie in the 1970’s than anything else (and if you haven’t heard them believe me that’s not a good thing). She recounted an anecdote of the time she met Louis Walsh and he advised her to stop writing her own songs, and to get a celebrity boyfriend. Now far be it from me to agree with Mr Walsh on much at all, or to pass comment on Gemma Hayes’ love life, but I do think her songs are just not good or strong enough for her voice, so maybe Louis had a point. Sorry – just saying.