May 18, 2016
St Pancras Old Church, London
Given the divine acoustics, artists tend to opt for an acoustic set at St Pancras Old Church. Independent spirit Gill Sandell went completely the other way, harnessing and filling the cavernous space. ‘Full band show’ was no exaggeration; at one point twelve talented musicians graced the stage!
Sandell united band members and collaborators past and present, including guitarist (and budding stand-up comedian) Ted Barnes, Mrs H of the Mrs H and the Sing-along Band, former Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo bandmates Anna Jenkins and Jo Silverston, and Emily Barker herself.
This expansive approach may have surprised those familiar with Sandell’s ethereal earlier output, but it was undoubtedly the right way to showcase the richness of her latest release, Songs Of Our Years.
Sandell placed faith in her own musical talent and that of her friends – including Les Mommsen who mixed both the album and the concert – by opening the show with an instrumental number, Mosaic Cabin.
As on the record, the jaunty and jarring brass-led tracks like The Other Side Of Green and Hammer On Wood stood out. Not that the older material was neglected; following a fan’s advice, Fingers and Toes became something special with the addition of drums and Red Clay vocals.
Sixteen songs later and the joyful organised chaos – and the all-too-brief Red Clay Halo reunion – was over.
If you missed it, don’t panic – there are still tour dates left. Check them out at http://www.gillsandell.com Don’t forget to buy that new album while you’re there – here’s my review of it: https://redrospective.com/2016/05/04/album-review-songs-of-our-years-gill-sandell/
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