Veronika Harcsa & Balint Gyemant are both Hungarian artists with whom I am familiar from 2014, when they joined the Berlin based Traumton label, for which I continue reviewing for a good few years now. This was when they recorded their debut album called Lifelover for them which I had a pleasure to review. To make a long story short it was simply sensational, so since that I was hoping to experience it live sooner or later. Meanwhile, three years passed and it didn’t happen. The Duo came back with the following Tell Her, pretty much a year back from now and that also landed with me and got reviewed. But few things, luckily for us who are living in the UK, had changed.
As Veronika got married, she became a part time London resident, between her busy continental tour schedules. Which means it finally became possible to hear her more and more often on the English soil. Kudos to the man who made that happen as it gives us the chance to experience live her immaculate vocal talents. It happened at least twice since as far as I was tracking her gigs well, but both dates I was unlucky as professional involvement kept me out of London. Until now.
To me it was the love from the first hearing and I always got that feeling and clearly expressed that, she is one of those artists who brings her own soul on a golden plate to you. Singing from the depth of her heart with no pace stridden. Fully giving her best and down to Earth. Additionally, her partner in crime, Balint seems to be the perfect soulmate and that is really what makes this Duo so great. They’ve known each other for long, not only recorded about seven (if I am right) records together before I had a chance to come across them, but also creating their lyrics alone or in a pair. That makes it pretty much a bit like a marriage, when two people are clearly breathing with the same air.
How was the concert then? That’s a good question indeed. Sometime when you are listening to the music like that recorded in studio you might think: It is so well done that it hard to believe it is real. Just a stream of constant flow. Total quality. One might thing it must be produced, it is too perfect to be true. But in the same time there are certain things and an emotional connection which can only appeal when someone is absolutely dedicated to the act. Ant you can sense it. That’s why I was so desperate to see and hear them live on stage. Just to tick that last mark in my head, to be sure that my senses are not playing games with me and what I am feeling coming out of the recording is the real blend of sensitivities at their best, with no makeover involved.
They started with Lifelover and it was striking gold immediately. Before the song got to the end I already knew that I am experiencing something special and witnessing now what I sensed from the first note back in time. Set contained some other of my favourite songs from both recording, like Let Me Call You River, Here I Am, among the others. She sung some Hungarian folk traditional tune as well, other than that we remember from the recording and it was the best proof of the honesty of her message. When you’re sold to the voice completely and immersed in the emotion without understanding a single word she is singing there is when your soul is listening. And SHE (yes, the Soul must be a woman, other way it wouldn’t work;) knows for sure that there is no room for a lie, pretending or selfish creation.
Another surprise on the top of the cake was a Talking Heads’ cover of Listening Wind that Veronika sung. Pretty vivid, with a different pace but sparky and well taken bringing the best memories of the band to me.
How about Balint should you ask? Yes, I know it is easy to get under Veronika’s spell but one should not neglect an importance of his part. He is a perfect partner. One vocalist can rely on every time. His support is so obvious that needs no question. It is both visible and audible. He is not just accompanying her – he is making her Act happen in an exact meaning. They do merge into a singular organism during this performance that I can hardly imagine myself that it would be the same music if another, even great guitarist took a part instead. Such a synergy and mutual co-feeling doesn’t happen too often. It is not a matter of time or even the practice, which is obviously there, but ability to complete trust to the other human being and just take flight blindfolded. It was always a case with Mal Waldron and Jeanne Lee Art together to get perfect example. Or unforgettable Ella and Louis.
That evening made my day and fulfilled my soul with a great joy. I am so grateful for that set to both, but I also have a feeling that they possibly achieved all they could already as a Duo. Surely, they could keep going like that for long as long as they have enough lyrics to bring, but that’s not the point. I can strongly feel that they are both more adventurous than that. I think it is the best time to move up end expand the formula into something bigger and more complex, whatever it might be. They certainly do sound like they are ready for that. Like a Supernova – there is energy that no one can stop, so let it BLOW!