Playing acoustic in an upstairs dining hall in Highland Park known as Checker Hall, Australian singer-songwriter Hazel English gave a short but poignant performance to a room of friends and strangers. Amongst the high-stacked glass bottles of alcohol that towered from the bar at the center of the room and the group that had gathered there—after dinner and a dessert of pomegranate brownies—English sat on a stool and played a handful of favorites from her recent double EP Just Give In/Never Going Home. Stripped of those sun-ray bathed textures and lush warbling that paint her songs, English’s soft vocals found room to grow in the echoed and surprisingly cavernous space of Checker Hall. And in that lucid intimacy that seemed to vibrate with each strum just a little bit more into existence, the singer-songwriter found a vacancy to place her tender worries, anxieties, and hopes.
There was such ease over the evening—for both English and her audience—that just doesn’t exist at a traditional concert. Sitting just a few feet away from English affords itself a certain wonder in itself, cooing as she does in that trill of hers about the winding ways life and love seem to twist you down roads you find strange and foreign. She mingles innocence and the wisdom that comes when such a thing is lost so affectionately that any English show gushes with a quiet deafening of souls present. And yet, Checker Hall offered another sense of wonder to the evening’s proceedings. It felt as if—after a supper of friends and family—someone had just revealed English’s tendency to wax lyrical on her guitar. And in doing so, and after modest declines on her part, the group—now as it was full and warm with cocktails and offering encouragement—eagerly listened to someone dear to them as English drag over a stool to play a few of her ditties. Such was the warmhearted set English provided for the night—and it speaks to a novelty you just don’t see anymore—a combination of such intense intimacies that English shines brilliantly on.
The Wild Honey Pie Music & Dinner Series
If you’re seeking a unique music experience in Los Angeles, you must check out The Wild Honey Pie’s intimate dinner and music series. It’s a great option for a date night or just to meet new people that love both music and food! $50 gets you a delicous 3-course dinner, select cocktails and a very special intimate performance by well-known up-and-coming musicians.
Up next for the monthly showcase is Ian Sweet on Sept. 16 at Checker Hall. This very special occasion is also the 10-year celebration for The Wild Honey Pie! Grab tickets here.