Serafina Steer plays at Rough Trade East
The harpist and multi-instrumentalist Serafina Steer is tremendously adept at demonstrating her talents through poetic, storytelling lyrics and an unorthodox style of harp playing. Yet it is definitely worth taking notice of her when someone as respected as Jarvis Cocker said that her album was one of his favourites of 2010.
However, when seeing her live, the beauty of her music was tainted by audio interference and poor backing music. On top of this, her lateness left many of her fans and other audience members wandering around the store.
Nevertheless, once on stage, she gave a short introduction to her song Machine Room. The song was a well-blended piece of experimental folk music that had undertones of an indie sound. Her following songs built upon the folk theme, but what seemed to let the performance down was her fellow musician going out of time on the bass playing. A couple of audience members were dancing until this occurred, and thus it removed a great deal of energy and feeling from the set. There were also instances of feedback which were both unexpected and irritating.
But this mustn’t be taken as a strong impression of the nature of Serafina’s live performances, or even as a portrayal of her skills, as she was professional enough to continue through the slip-ups with courage and intuition.
How to Haunt a House Party added a nice bit of variety to the show; it was slightly electro in its fashion and contained some amusingly witty lyrics.
As the set was coming to an end, Serafina began to display her majestic harp-playing abilities. But for some reason, during the final song, she stumbled over her own lyrics. A true shame, as everyone in the audience was aware of her capability to perform well.
It is fair to say that a lot more can most definitely be expected from Serafina Steer, but on this unfortunate occasion, it was not to be seen in its entirety.
Watch the video for Night Before Mutiny here: