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Jessica Pratt plays a sold out Cafe Oto

17 January 2014, 11:00 | Written by Barnaby Sprague

Of course there’s always a folk revival going on, depending on what you read. Easily selling out Dalston’s Cafe Oto on a soggy Thursday evening, Jessica Pratt seemed more than happy to be the folky face of 2014, playing from her eponymous debut album.

As classic and simple a set-up as could be, Pratt’s intricate finger-plucked songs of love, loss and friendship were paper-thin and hugely affecting, her voice appropriately shrill but never put-on. If contemporaries such as Joanna Newsom and Liz Green are regarded as rather acquired tastes, this show was one of pure time-honoured classicism that’s never heard of nu-folk, freak-folk or folktronica.

As Pratt sang “cry no tears is the refrain, cry no tears again” during “Night Waves”, the climax of the set, it seemed almost contrived to be sipping craft beer by candlelight while rain lashed against the window. Whether she plays music for all seasons remains to be seen, but I’ll happily get back to you in the spring.

- Setlist to follow.

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