Who'll Come Walking
Hermine singing in the Walled Garden at the Port Eliot Literary Festival in Cornwall, England July 09 is on You Tube. Her previous performances in 2008 were typically at a church stop during a bicycle rally in Northern France and at the artist Andrew Logan's Glasshouse in London. She did a mini tour of Switzerland in November 08 at Dampfzentrale, Bern, AMR, Geneva and El Lokal, Zurich. 'Who'll Come Walking ?'on Salome discs is a collection of previously unreleased recordings, following the CD release of 'The World on my plates' and 'Lonely at the Top' on LTM records. There are many articles elsewhere on the internet about Hermine, but for those who don't know her live show or her 'style' an early review in The Stage described Hermine as 'a beautiful girl who can't sing and is liable to break down into a fit of giggles, and is quite frankly hilarious'. Edward L. Fox of the NME wrote that Hermine 'sings quiet, funny songs to a tinkly piano. She soothes the minds of the drinking and lounging audience away from thoughts of the hail of unemployment statistics going on outside. Her songs are all about repression and physical pain. The voice is imperfect and fragile, with a strong accent. She begins her act on a high stool in the dark, a red bicycle lamp held in each hand below her face, and sings a 'torch' song called Blue Angel in the red light. She disappears, then re-enters the light to sing again in a hesitant, distant style, as if she was performing in public for the first time.' Of her distinctive accent, Hermine revealed: 'I can't stop it. People often think it's a send-up, like an affectation, but it is for real. It's terribly bad, because I can't complain when I go to the shops, people just laugh... I'm really not interested in singing as such. For me it's a lot to do with delivery, and interpretation. I know it's pretty erratic. Either you go for it or you can't stand it. It must annoy a number of people that someone like me could get away with so much. I just try things out. I don't call myself an artist or a singer or anything like that. I find myself being called a performance artist, but it certainly wasn't anything of my doing.' (Square Peg ) Hermine's fragile, surreal, warm and comic performance is a lot more sophisticated and entertaining than reviewers can easily indicate. Capturing the wit, energy, enthusiasm and the idiosyncratic beauty and French farce of this and transferring it to an entertaining recording has always been a challenge. This CD goes a long way towards achieving this, nicely balanced with a good variation of moods and recorded for the most part with a slightly loose rein. Sometimes comic, sometimes Cajun folksy, sometimes haunting. It is a fine third album and possibly contains some of her most evocative recordings to date.