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Browsing the web recently I was fortunate to encounter Jordan Reyne, from New Zealand, who is a unique singer/songwriter/musician with a startling voice, who sings what is described as a kind of ‘alternative dark Gothic folk ’. It so happened she was playing at a venue close by in Bolton, on her final UK tour date  to promote her recent album ‘Children Of A Factory Nation’. Mudkiss are always on the hunt for new and exciting styles of music, so this was right up our street. We went down to check out the show, it was being filmed for a live album and DVD.

Soundcheck was in progress, as we arrived, and sadly due to some technical issues the live album wasn't happening tonight. However the show went ahead, with little round tables formed around the stage, and table candles, it was a very intimate setting, with a few of Jordan's friends and others who seemed to be fans in attendance. Flame haired Jordan eventually appeared on stage around 9.30pm looking rather resplendent in a cocktail of Gothic style layers, red and black striped tights, and enormous buckled, platform boots, like a funky new age pre Raphaelite. Jordan Reyne is a one Woman band and initially the stage appears bare, and you wonder how she is going to fill the space.

So, its on with the show as Jordan starts into the sombre, haunting track ‘Johnny & The Sea’ enhanced by a multi coloured light show, smoky fog all meshing delightfully with the tribal sounds and mystical folk. Coming across with a delicious mixture of Tori Amos, Alanis Morissette, and Imogen Heap, yet with her own distinctive sounds resonating. Mechanical/industrial noises entwine with everyday sounds, on her machine samples, her powerful voice is striking as she tells us tales through song. Many of the songs she sings tonight are from her new album, which are based on a welsh family from the 1800’s during the industrial revolution, known only as Johnathan X, his wife Mary and children.

As the stage lighting interweave with her songs, taking us on a mythical, magical ride, tales of both fictional characters and imagined, she changes tact slightly, not averse to a bit of tongue in cheek humour, she informs us that “this is a horrible song, for those times when you feel slutty, horrible and revengeful” and proceeds to offer us ‘Piss Off I’m Drinking’ and apologies in advance to any children in the audience for the lyrics, although she got permission beforehand to sing it. She has the audience in stitches at the lyrics “I told you it was horrible”! She smiles a lot, laughs, engages with people on a personal level, in fact I imagine not one person in the room left without liking her more than they first imagined. Its quite obvious the audience are entirely taken with her, and its not just a one way street. as she gets a lot of feedback and interaction.

After playing a long set, Jordan took a short "drink break", but returned to offer yet another session, at one point unstrapping her guitar, and concentrated on just singing and dancing, lost in her own time and space. And it didn't end until after 12am. We bought the new album 'Children From Another Nation' and got a lovely signed personal message. I'd advise that you go and check her out immediately if she is heading your way, try the dark folk you might like it – I know we did.

Children of a Factory Nation – All songs written and performed by Jordan Reyne.
  1. Johnny & the Sea        
  2. A Woman Scorned
  3. Blood on the Sea
  4. A Hard Game
  5. London
  6. Factory Nation
  7. Heavenly Creatures
  8. The Arsonist
  9. Wait (I Run too Slow)
  10. A Healer's Folly (live)
  11. Crooked

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