The Pierces at Shepherd’s Bush Empire
On 23rd September we joined The Pierces in the midst of their UK tour promoting new album Creation. The mature audience took a few songs to get warmed up but there was genuine depth of feeling in the atmosphere. The excellent acoustics and vintage feel of the venue made this an intimate gig, even though it was a full show. The stage set up was basic but allowed you to focus on the musicians, particularly the ladies at the forefront.
The pair had an easy camaraderie onstage, even without knowing it’s obvious they’re sisters. They had a natural warmth with one other and their light banter and unaffected enjoyment of the evening translated well to the audience. Personal anecdotes about the motivations for each song made them all the more relatable – delivered by two women who still clearly not only hold a great passion for their craft, but for its subject matter as well. They have obviously thought their presentation through and even with the minimal set up, their inverted monochrome outfits (blonde Catherine in a black dress with bare legs, and brunette Allison in a white dress and black tights) further impresses on the audience the way their voices mirror and complement each other in song.
The majority of the set featured songs from Creation, a more modern departure from previous work, but the songs chosen brilliantly showcased the variety of influences on their music. From the electro soulfulness of Believe in Me to the folksy You’ll Be Mine and finally in the ethereal psychedelia of the finale Glorious, the variety was apparent. Ultimately, the ladies present a sound that is all their own and the show was well-paced, without any lulls, even during more sedate songs.
The encore began with a stripped-back showcase of their vocal abilities, with a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s Kathy’s Song. This was a bold choice as they had to reclaim a distracted audience, but proved almost more powerful in that moment than when backed up by their extremely competent band, subtly yet confidently demanding attention. They ended on the potent Glorious, both throwing the crowd into 60s carefree wild abandon while somehow feeling like a call to arms at the same time.
Photo: Claire R Greenway
For further information about The Pierces and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Creation here: