Peter Broderick at St Giles-in-the-Fields
Peter Broderick graces London at St Giles-in-the-Fields on his summer European tour after the release of his latest album, Colours of the Night. A very fitting venue for Broderick’s various modes of musical expression, it seems as though the solo artist has an affinity for performing in churches and, after the show, one can see why.
Playing to an older hipster crowd, Broderick begins exactly on time while the last few stragglers hurry to find their seats among the pews. The title track from Colours of the Night showcases his multi-tasking ability, and it’s fascinating to see the musician manipulate his Casio to create all the loops of the song live. The show is a perfect sample of his vast range, talent and versatility; Broderick performs neoclassical piano compositions, folk tunes, spoken word and even a violin wedding song written for his friends. He constantly alternates between guitar, violin, piano and synthesiser with which he provides beatboxing and vocals. Demonstrating his impressive musicianship through the command of an ever-growing array of instruments, the artist establishes himself as a singer-songwriter as well as composer.
Broderick employs the setting and acoustics of the church to his full advantage, choosing a set-list that especially echoes the solemnity of the venue. Even though at times the music is sombre, the banter in between is always light and cheerful, drawing frequent chortles from the intently listening audience. Setting down his guitar at one point, Broderick starts singing Love Defines You a cappella from the pulpit. While some follow him down the aisle with their eyes, others listen with heads bowed and eyes closed as if in prayer, affecting the hymnal qualities of the song. Only for two pieces, including the beautifully layered I’ve Tried, does Broderick invite Tonality Star of Pwrhaus to play with him on stage, quite simply because it is physically impossible to play the songs by himself.
Although the musician spent the better part of the last decade living abroad, there is no denying the American influences from home permeating his new album carrying through to the performance. Broderick has mastered an incredible scope of musical styles, and it is uncommonly inspirational to see him perform his work live.
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Watch the video for I’ve Tried (Live Studio Version) here: