There’s a song here, it is basically the last one on “Running Back To You”, called “Aberdare”, where Laura Evans dreams (forgive the cliché) of the green, green grass of home. “Take me back home, where the green hills roll” she sings in the chorus as she dreams of the Welsh town she was from.
And yet, everything in the song is exactly why the small town in the valleys couldn’t hold her. Acoustic in the main, it is warm, sun-kissed, like some West Coast US thing from the Fleetwood Mac vaults. I promised myself I would try and avoid the words “Stevie Nicks” but there we go. There’s a bit where the keyboards tinkle and everything seems at ease.
That sound – and this talent – was and is too good to constrain. There’s a reason why someone like Evans travels the world and someone like me has moved 200 yards in the last 42 years and goes to vote in the same infant school they left in 1983. Talent, ambition and drive.
The whole EP is a testament to that, in truth. From the dirty blues groove of “Drag Me Back In” – which is at odds with the rest of the record – made with Josiah J Manning (Kris Barras) it is as confident and classy as can be.
The title track is more like the vibe elsewhere. The harmonies, the warmth, it’s like the ocean lapping round your toes. “Me and you,” she offers, “ain’t doing nothing new”. But someone, its like they are meant to be together – like this voice and this music.
“Mess Of Me” conveys some dark emotions, built around its piano lick, it has the suggestion of Heart in about 1986 – but never quite goes full on power ballad. Frankly, though, Evans could sing anything she liked and it’d sound superb.
As if to prove it, there’s an acoustic version of the title track to finish this, and it changes the dynamic perfectly.
“Running Back To You” is what happens when a brilliant voice gets to work with some brilliant musicians – and it is a little gem. And I got through the whole thing without mentioning she’d spent a decade on the Basil Brush Show. Or maybe I didn’t…..