If you've never been to a live music performance at St Pancras Old Church, you definitely need to add that one to your Things To Do In London list. Situated in Somers Town, Wikipedia tells us that the church is thought to be one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in the country. This tiny and atmospheric spot of religious iconography is dedicated to Saint Pancras and the international railway station we all know and love (and cavort over to Paris via) is named after the church and its parish.
Excitingly, it also regularly hosts live music performances and has already seen artists such as Perfume Genius, Emmy the Great, Ólöf Arnalds and Ren Harvieu take to its altar.
This venue was, unarguably, the perfect setting for the launch of "Union", the debut album from Saint Saviour, whose praise we already sang to you last year, after seeing her perform at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen. If possible, Becky Jones' two-night takeover of this beautiful church on Wednesday and Thursday was even more enthralling than our previous experience of her live set. The bewitching charm of the tracks from "Union" (plus a couple of other odds 'n' sods) had an effortlessly smooth fit with the magical locale.
The album itself is, stylistically, an eclectic affair but the underlying common denominator of its various cuts is that unmistakable, thrilling voice that comes out of Jones' mouth. And what a performance she gives! On songs such as "Tightrope" and "Birdsong" her in-the-moment twists and bends complement the deep resounding beats hypnotically. A remix of her beautiful ballad, "Fallen Trees", continues in this vein, although perhaps a simple rendition of the album version would have been more suitable for the venue.
In-the-moment is very much how Jones comes across and she makes up for the little interaction with the audience by giving her all on stage in terms of energy and vocal delivery. Songs which triumphed live included "Magic Hour" and "The Rain Falls On The Just" but, unfortunately, "Liberty" and, current single, "I Call This Home" did not quite manage to reach the level of magnificence which their recorded version counter-parts command.
The main set closed with a crowd-pleasing cover of Siouxsie & the Banshees' "Happy House" before Jones returned for a three-limbed encore, bringing a powerful finale to the evening.
The Saint Saviour experience is one which we feel could be enjoyed in both modest and stadium-like settings - the music certainly lends itself to flexible manipulation in this regard - but with this sort of show under her belt, we'd recommend catching Saint Saviour at an intimate gig like this, before she becomes too popular to appear at such a small venue again.
We went to the first of Saint Saviour's two shows at St Pancras Old Church. She sang:
This ain't no hymn
Midnight City (a cover of M83's track)
The Rain Falls on the Just
I Call This Home
And for pudding:
Here In Me