It’s 21st December, Greek Street, with Soho’s Christmas spirit in full swing. The gig is at the Chapel of St. Barnabus, doubling for one night only as the Church of Saint Saviour – AKA Becky Jones – who has something of a cult following on the London music scene. She’s cool and quirky, has a phenomenal voice, a penchant for the odd, and a natural, irresistible style that’s all hers (think Alison Goldfrapp and Björk, but more chic). The small-but-perfectly-formed 18th-century stone chapel is warmly lit with candles, the band are set up ready to play in the centre, and the audience take our seats on cushions arranged behind pillars in the four corners, the performers all but hidden from view. We wait, talking eagerly in hushed tones. Saint Saviour sits down to play piano and says she hopes we like the mystery of the arrangement. The music begins with ‘Carol of the Bells’, sung a-capella in four-parts, leaving the audience tingling with delight. For the next 45 minutes, Saint Saviour’s ethereal vocals float around the church interior, supported sympathetically by singers Rachael Travers and Lauren Johnson. The ensemble runs through a delectable Christmas play-list that includes ‘A Child is Born’, ‘Blue Christmas’, ‘O Holy Night’ and ‘Silent Night’, before playing a selection of Saint Saviour originals including ‘Red Sun’, ‘Reasons’, ‘Fallen Trees’, ‘Some Things Change’ and the crowd-pleasing ‘Liberty’. Each song ends too soon and the chapel’s natural reverb fades after each tune into silence, before the musicians again transport us with alacrity to another sphere. The band is a wonderful Yuletide blend of piano, percussion, two winds and harp – the latter played by Jharda Walker who at one point accompanies herself for a solo vocal rendition of ‘Santa Baby’ which brings a smile to every face. This is a very special event. It is not the full-scale Saint Saviour electronica extravaganza, but is all the more delightful for its boutique charm. We are on musical hallowed ground. Magic.

See this review at HorizonVu Music

2 Responses to “Saint Saviour, 21st December 2011”

  1. shirley said

    Wish I’d been there. Sounds like a treasure of an evening.

  2. […] Gareth Dylan Smith IS Dr. Drums, and in addition to his own blogging, he’s agreed to join us on the HorizonVU Music Blog and SHOP. Drawing from his teaching, and most definitely, his experience as a heavy duty rocker and drummer of the band “The Eruptors” Gareth is going to bring us great VUs and reVUs in keeping with HorizonVU Music’s focus on women in rock, alternative and folk. Saint Saviour, 21st December 2011 Posted 21 December 2012 at […]

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