Communion Presents: New Faces at St Stephen’s Church
With nine years’ experience of running live music events across the world, and four years operating as a record label, Communion know a thing or two about new artists. On 28th April we dropped by their latest New Faces tour – a biannual offering of artists you’ve not quite heard of yet – at St Stephen’s Church in Shepherds Bush.
First up was Frances, a self-proclaimed “singer-songwriter piano woman”, who immediately captured the attention of the room. As the late evening sun shone through the stained glass windows, an appreciative silence fell on the crowd, tuning into her strong but delicate vocal as it glided over mountainous piano chords without losing the clarity of the lyrics. Impressively she also took on both parts of a duet that will appear on her forthcoming EP. Next was Tenterhook, who is probably best described as Ed Sheeran without the loop pedal and rapping. He delivered a set that you might stumble upon around midnight at a bandstand at Bestival, and has great pop promise. Towards the end he brought out his friend Steph Fraser as guest vocalist on London Heart – a heartfelt, gentle and perfectly executed duet, which created a real moment of unity in breathy tension.
While the benches were the ideal place to marinate in the first two acts, Freddie Dickson would have bounced better off an audience on their feet. Despite this, they offered a set layered with vocal harmonies and punchy hooks driven with undeniable energy; frontman Freddie definitely gives a sense that he is looking forward to a day when he gets the John Peel tent waving their arms in time with him. The headline spot, then, belonged to Charlotte OC, whose stage presence was the most commanding of the night. Her soulful vocal layered over a thick electronic bed wrapped the audience in its warmth, reaching a captivating crescendo when she ditched the synths to deliver a cover of Rui Da Silva’s classic Touch Me alone on distorted guitar. Tipped by the BBC as one to watch in 2014, it would be a good idea to keep an eye on her in 2015 too.
As curators of the evening, Communion achieved a journey through four very promising New Faces, all received enthusiastically by the crowd. This line-up plays again in Bristol tonight, and the next batch of New Faces should be eagerly anticipated later this year.
Photos: Zak Macro
For further information about Communion Music and future events visit here.