Review: A standing ovation for John Bramwell and The Full Harmonic Convergence at Cadogan Hall

By Christopher Knowles
November 9 2019, 09.25

This week marked the thirtieth anniversary of the release of John Bramwell’s first LP. 

In this beautiful Cadogan Hall concert Bramwell showcased a new collection of songs that exudes positivity and calm, and gave a retrospective on a brilliant career in songwriting.

Cadogan Hall seemed an unlikely venue for Bramwell and the dark tales of ‘drinking and disaster’ for which he has won acclaim. But the atmosphere created by the venue’s deep blue lighting and the seated crowd suited Bramwell’s latest project, The Full Harmonic Convergence. 

Bramwell took to the stage amidst an extended ambient introduction provided by the cello of Harriet Bradshaw and piano of former I am Kloot collaborator Alan Lowles. After the calming vibrato and resonance, Bramwell settled into new material that flows comfortably in major keys with lyrics that foreground natural beauty and the open horizon.

The sound of The Full Harmonic Convergence is at ease and up-tempo. It provides a warm and optimistic accompaniment to Bramwell’s lyrical introspection; the forthcoming album The Light Fantastic could be one of the sounds of the spring and summer of 2020.

There is a heart-warming on-stage rapport between the members of The Full Harmonic Convergence. The formation of the band has clearly been a revitalising and nurturing experience for Bramwell. In one of the night’s intimate moments Bramwell revealed: “David Fidler (guitarist, bass player and backing vocalist) helped me get my confidence back.”

The band is equally confident performing Bramwell’s solo material and I am Kloot songs. For me the night’s highlight was the beautifully textured The Same Deep Water As Me. Bramwell perfectly pitched the mood as he introduced the song: “It feels a long time ago and not such a long time.”

Bramwell is a hidden national treasure whose timeless songs inspire an adoring cult following. He will perform at The Half Moon in Putney in early 2020, a year that holds great promise for The Full Harmonic Convergence.    

Related Articles