Held at St Stephens Church in Shepherds Bush, last Thursday’s London leg of the Communion ‘New Faces’ tour was an expertly curated night. St Stephens was packed with all benches used for normal church service full and more people filled the venue right to the back, the atmosphere was warm and inclusive in the low-lit church.
Communion’s bi-annual UK tour promoted four up-and-coming artists, recognised by the indie label as a new wave of emerging talent.
A great idea for promoting new music, the new faces tour in particular attracts a lot of attention mainly because of Communion’s track record of backing bands early on who have gone onto have major success, (Bears, Den, Jack, Garratt, James Bay, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Ben Howard to name just a few).
The line-up for the night was Matt Woods, Rukshana Merriese, Adam French & The Beach.
After a mad dash from the barbers I only just made it in time for Matt’s set. I’m so glad I did make it, as it was arguably the highlight of the night. He was accompanied by two other musicians playing keys and an electronic drum pad (SPDSX for those in the know) they complemented his powerful voice and falsetto perfectly. I always think it’s a good sign when the audience is dead silent during the performance – it shows he can command real engagement and that was certainly the case for Matt. There was no chit-chat just zoned in happy gig-goers. Particularly good was a track called ‘In The Dark’. I expect big things for him in the next year or so!
Next up was Communion’s newest signing Rukshana Merisse. I first saw her do an amazing set supporting Denai Moore at Electrowerkz, however due to me being a little bit pissed at the time, I forgot her name and spent a frustrated couple of hours the next day trying to find her online. Now signed to Communion this was the first time seeing her. The set got off to a bit of a slow start due to some sound issues and everyone still reeling from Matt’s great set but she quickly picked up the pace, and by the time she performed ‘Money’ there were people up on their feet bobbing about, I can definitely see ‘Money’ being the soundtrack of people’s summer!
Adam French was next to play, I had no prior knowledge of him and purposely didn’t try and research him just cause it’s nice to watch bands with no pre-conceptions. I was impressed – he had a great voice and some big songs, weirdly my favourite was a song entitled ‘Euthanasia’. Great stuff from the man who described himself as ’northern as fuck’.
Rounding off the night was The Beach aka George Morgan and his band. As he launched into ‘From Above’ I saw a good chunk of the audience get out there phones and load-up Snapchat therefore cementing it’s popularity. He was a great performer and had good interaction with the audience ending the night on a high!