Paloma Faith, Carl Barât, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Ian McCulloch team up at the Union Chapel for Noah’s Ark fundraising
The fundraiser held at the Union Chapel, brought to us by Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, was aimed at raising money and awareness for families in need of support. Paloma Faith, opening act of the event, captivated everyone in the room with the help of string quartet Dirty Pretty Strings. Her soulful, strong voice, which harmonized perfectly with the sonic texture of the chapel, was absolutely enchanting. The Hackney-born singer gave the audience something truly beautiful with Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?
Slightly disenchanting was Carl Barât’s performance. Barât was evidently not in the best of shape, one could tell by the hoarseness in his voice. Nonetheless, the ex-Libertine proved that considerably good songs, like Music When the Lights Go Out, do not need much more than just a guitar and strings to entertain.
When George Lamb wasn’t on stage in his fancy tux, to introduce the performers, Ed Harcourt most of the time lead the show from his piano. Every once in a while he would even honour us with a performance, like the cover of These Days by Jackson Brown. His soft, yet energetic voice provided a relaxing bridge between the intense melodically-driven music presented thus far, and the rock-influenced music by Ian McCulloch. But due to the sensitive acoustics in the venue, his loud, brassy songs did not get to shine. It was rather agitating.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor made up for all of that. She hasn’t physically, or in performance, aged a day since Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love). The strings gave the dance song a ballad-like feel to it. The reinterpretation was ravishing.
The male highlight on this evening was clearly Brett Anderson’s humble self. His rendition of Brittle Heart, accompanied by Ed Harcourt on the piano, was breathtaking. His self-conscious, yet diffident stage demeanor accentuated the elegant grace in his voice.
Christmas was heralded by Kristina Train’s cover of Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World. However, Train failed to do the original any justice, by simply rattling down the lyrics.
The dénouement featured Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Brett Anderson and Carl Barât – alongside his girlfriend Edie Langley – in a mesmerising execution of Waterloo Sunset, a popular song by The Kinks from the 60s.
The event certainly delivered on its promise and presented a diverse and unique program to every taste and age.
As the event was very well attended, Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice hopefully raised the six-digit figure they were aiming for, so that they can help the families and children in need, particularly with Christmas just around the corner.
Photo: Andy Miah
For further information on Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice visit here.