It is always a pleasure to visit Zédel, just a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus. A small all-day café on the ground floor conceals the stairs down to a grand art deco entertainment complex, comprising a Parisian-style brasserie, a stylish cocktail bar and a fairly unique music venue. The Crazy Coqs cabaret is capable of hosting a big sound for the small audience seated at the rows of cabaret tables (very well-serviced by an efficient team of waiting staff who keep the drinks flowing). And it has something for everyone: the management seemingly takes the generous view that all music genres deserve to be heard and enjoyed in this space.
This was the second visit here of Anne Steele, a New York-based singer-songwriter, on the occasion of launching her EP Made Out of Stars. Her huge personal and emotional investment in each of the songs – for which she takes inspiration from her own personal journey – was touching to hear her discuss and then whole-heartedly demonstrate in her powerful performance of them. It’s a privilege to hear an artist sharing, with a relatively intimate audience, her passion for music and life in general.
She deploys her huge vocal talent across a refreshingly wide range of musical styles, ranging from acoustic ballads to more up-tempo pop tracks. On this evening she mixed her new EP tracks (all well worth a listen) with popular covers (from Stevie Wonder to Pink), which were also thoughtful personal choices. Credit also is due to Anne’s three backing musicians (including her musical director, William TN Hall) and two vocalists, who did a splendid job in creating the polished sound required by many of the songs.
I am sure that Anne Steele will be back in London before long; in the meantime I’d highly recommend sampling the other musical offerings that Zédel has in prospect.
Performer: Anne Steele
Musical Director: William TN Hall