Sophie Ellis-Bextor at Union Chapel
Sophie Ellis-Bextor came to town last night after taking a three-year break from touring, to promote her new album Wanderlust – and boy was she something. Performing a sold-out show at Union Chapel, she brought energy and soul to the audience through her music, a blend of so many styles that it’s safe to say the sound is her own. Performing in this church, it was as if she was a priestess, providing faith and reason to the fans who sat in the aisle seats to absorb her voluptuous and cathartic sounds.
Along with the star herself were an in-house band featuring two female violinists, bass and electric guitar, drums and keyboard, and even a saw player. You heard correctly: a musician came out and played the saw, using a violin bow and a delay pedal to create ambient and spacey noises. The music from the first half of the show – all tunes from her newly released album – was a blend of genres, including soul, late 90s/early 00s pop, pop-rock, jazz and many others. Some tracks sounded like those you would hear in the opening credits of a James Bond movie. The sound from the stage was perfect – being in a church made it resonate with haunting but stable reverb. Along with that, the light show was spectacular.
After the intermission, Ellis-Bextor immediately came back onstage to perform a hybrid act of disco, upbeat pop music and a cover of Modjo’s Lady. The audience jumped out of their seats and started dancing and clapping along to the music, lending more energy to the performance and to Ellis-Bextor who couldn’t help but be mobile. She closed out the night with her huge hit Murder on the Dancefloor, and left the stage along with the band. Yet before anyone else could leave, she was found on the top balcony along with the pianist to play a brief but beautiful acoustic song. The crowd erupted with applause and left on a high, with smiles on their faces.
Photo: Mike Garnell
For further information and future events visit Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s website here.
Watch the video for Young Blood here: