Keston Cobblers Club at Union Chapel
It must be something pretty special for a band to have their name projected onto the ceiling of Islington’s stunning Union Chapel. Last night, Keston Cobblers Club filled the building with their glorious sound, playing song after song to an audience of all ages.
The five-piece are becoming known for their catchy, danceable tunes and making music of a mix of genres and sounds, including folk and orchestral – along with some effective homemade percussion instruments. For last night’s concert, they drew from across their discography, playing songs from their latest release, Almost Home, as well as some old favourites. Bicycles proved to be a great opener, with their vocal harmonies echoing beautifully at its end in the venue’s space. In fact, what can really be appreciated when Keston Cobblers Club perform live is the power of their vocal harmonies, particularly on tracks St Tropez and Contrails, and the chapel seemed to be the perfect place for the musicians to showcase this.
The atmosphere was one of make yourself at home (a feeling that was highlighted by the mugs of tea and coffee that were scattered among the pews). Here, you have the natural and easy dynamics of a group of instrumentalists who have been playing together for a few years, who are comfortable on stage and deliver each number with an energy and enthusiasm that is infectious. It’s no wonder they have such a dedicated following, and the back and forth between the band members with each other and their audience was charming and genuine.
Julia Lowe commented on how nice it was that the concertgoers already knew some of the new songs and the nostalgic Almost Home and Demons did get a great response. The Mad, with its gentle intro and her haunting vocals, gradually built up verse by verse, and fan-favourite Your Mother ignited a spark in the room as their voices filled the chapel, sounding as powerful as a full choir. The tribal-like Wildfire began with just a drum and five voices but by the end there was Tom Sweet on trumpet and Bethan Ecclestone’s tuba in there too. The Heights of Lola was dedicated to their biggest fan who has grown up listening to their music, where the crowd joined in loudly on the “aah”s. A highlight, Half Full was another that started off slow but then had everything thrown at it, with its joyful build-up of violins and Harry Stasinopoulos’s drum going like a heartbeat – here it was clear how much they were enjoying themselves.
Concord was sung at a more leisurely pace and Matthew Lowe’s poetic lyrics could really be heard. Pett Level and We Will Heel Your Souls had the audience dancing a ceilidh in the aisles. On Your Own again demonstrated the group’s love of performing and the lovely and hopeful Forest Hill sent a shiver through the room as the first notes were played.
The Keston Cobblers came back on stage to foot-stomping applause to deliver the haunting and powerful All I Need, which was beautifully performed to a piano backing track with just a beat, some shakers and their voices. This was followed by an unplugged and fantastically funky rendition of Dire Straits’ Money for Nothing and they finished up with the jubilant Dun Dun Dun.
The music speaks for itself, but seeing this band live is highly, highly recommended. Fantastic!
Photos: Oksana Dotsenko
For further information about Keston Cobblers Club and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Almost Home here: