We Love Christmas, St Giles in the fields, London, December 11 2015
Every three months in St Giles in the Fields Church, a We Love Shows show is held, to corresspond with the seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Christmas. Organised by Kal Lavelle, over the past nine months at these events, I’ve seen some great artists, Antonio Lulic, Playing House, Adrian Roye, Stephanie Fraser and Dawson.
The event, it’s not just a gig, is located in a church which gives awesome acoustics and is perfect for an actual proper listening gig, such as this. Added bonus comes in the way of a bar, stocked full of Kopperberg, who sponsor the event, and cakes from the Bubble Bakers. Last night’s addition of mulled cider, was much welcomed and kept the nip away out of the chilly Winter air.
Onto the acts, last night opened with Bryde, aka Sarah Howells who is also part of Paper Aeroplanes. It was a big week for Sarah as her single ‘Wait’ was played on BBC Radio 1 for the first time this week. As she got further into her set, the songs just got better and better. Well worth keeping an eye out for her own music away from Paper Aeroplanes.
Fiona Bevan‘s name may not be familiar to everyone but most people will recognise at least one song she’s responsible for. Yup, you know One Direction’s ‘Little Things’? She’s responsible for that alongside everyone’s favourite loveable scamp, Ed Sheeran.
Fiona is a seasoned performer and looks comfortable on stage, swapping guitar for ukulele before reverting to her original instrument before the end of her set. Fiona is funny charming, messes up the words of her inbetween song banter and seems just totally lovely. She comes across as someone who is extremely confident with their art and it shows. Last night she sang some terrific songs.
The big thing I like about We Love Shows, nevermind the cakes and the mulled cider, is that it’s an opportunity to hear artists I’ve heard of but never have seen live. These are the musicians in their own natural setting, no huge big productions, just in a location which justifies reverence.
Last act of the night is Kal Lavelle. The first time I heard about We Love Shows or Kal was when I interviewed Jamie Lawson a year ago. He was just about to go on tour with Ed Sheeran. I met Jamie in Covent Garden and he told me he was on his way to play a We Love Show gig. He told me it was organised by Kal.
I’ve been to a few of these shows now and Kal would normally play a couple of tunes, this is the first time I’ve seen her do a full set. Kal is a talented songwriter and her songs are memorable. ‘Fell in love with my friend’ is a prime example, the hook will stay will with you for days.
She’s no stranger to writing about sexy times. ‘Get out out of my head’ is another earworm. Kal tells a story about her Mum liking the song, just no one tell her what it’s really about.
Ms Lavelle abandons amplification for ‘Shivers’ and wanders from the altar to the space at the front of the church at the top of rows of pews. The pure acoustics of the church take the song to a higher level. Simply superb.
The night is finished off with Fiona joining Kal on stage for a rendition of a Christmas song. Now, here’s the thing, in my musical book George Michael is on a pedestal higher anyone else and anyone even attempting to emulate the great man seriously have to ask themselves questions as they will never out do his work.
When the first notes of ‘Last Christmas’ are sung, I actually held my breath. I needn’t have worried though. Kal and Fiona do George proud and a section of the audience spontaneously add the harmonies. Bravo! All good in the hood! I shouldn’t have been too surprised with the choir in the pews as We Love Shows always seem have an audience participation section. Tonight with Fiona Bevan, earlier in Kal’s set and now.
We Love Shows is a great night, relaxing, good music, a glass of good stuff and some cakes, you couldn’t ask for more. The next one, We Love Spring, is March 18th.. perhaps an Irish night?