The Staves at the Sacred Trinity Church

Alexandra Stephen

The Sacred Trinity Church in Salford, on the 24th of November, was quite literally alive with the sound of music, very cliché, but true. The Staves, a trio from Hertfordshire, were the main event and they were supported by 18 year old Rae Morris from Blackpool, and Paul Thomas Saunders who is supporting throughout the ‘Communion’ tour.  

I had never been to the Sacred Trinity Church for a gig before, it was a surreal experience. I walked in from the biting cold expecting to find a big and fancy music hall, but was pleasantly surprised to see it was the exact opposite. There were two rows of pews at either side, a small space in the middle of the floor and, best of all, comfy looking beanbags right in front of the stage! It was only me and two other couples there at this time and to be honest I felt quite awkward just walking up to the beanbags on my own, so I took my place on the back row on one of the pews… little did I know that by the end of three hours it would be the most uncomfortable I have ever felt in my life. The whole room was dimly lit with coloured fairy lights which gave a very wintery, yet cosy, ambience.

When the pews and beanbags were full and there were people were sat on the floor, a girl sat opposite me casually walked up onto the stage, started to play the keyboard and sing. This was, as I found out later, Rae Morris. The audience all of a sudden went silent and listened to her sweet, yet very raw and powerful voice. The simplicity of her songs and the beautiful playing of her instrument were refreshing and she received a great reception from the audience. After she had finished, all I heard was words of praise at how talented she was at such a young age.

Next on the stage was Paul Thomas Saunders alongside his band The Fever Dreams. His voice is chillingly captivating and in contrast, his persona was endearingly shy. By using many sound effects there was a build up throughout each song and with the acoustics from the church, it gave a really eerie and interesting effect. They performed songs from the latest E.P ‘Lilac and Wisteria’ that came out earlier this year and also gave us a taster track from a new E.P coming out early next year called ‘Descartes Highlands.’ Definitely a must listen.

By this point the room was definitely packed, there were even people awkwardly stood at the doorway awaiting the act they had come to see, The Staves. A couple more minutes after Saunders was onstage, more fairy lights had been added which I didn’t think was possible. And a couple more after that, the three sisters walked to the front with an angelic grace, stood in a line and sang.

The word ethereal suddenly sprung to mind. In the dictionary definition; ‘light, delicate, heavenly’ were words used and there was an example of the word used in a sentence; ‘an ethereal world created through poetic imagination.’ It sums them up in one.  

If I’m being completely honest I had only heard of them a week before the gig and had listened to their very catchy song ‘Mexico’ and I’m not joking when I say its one of those songs you find yourself singing for days. But to see it live was definitely a different experience than hearing them on YouTube, like it is with most good singers. One of the most memorable songs of the evening was ‘The Fire’ a bittersweet song. They put their guitars and ukuleles down, and sang acapella. For many acts this would not have worked because their voices are not strong enough to hold an audience but for these girls it was definitely something else. They came together in flawless harmony and added originality to the song by clapping and clicking there fingers in order to create their own beat.  

Even though their voices were so pure and innocent, in between each song, they showed a colourful personality which was refreshing and made you realise they were just ordinary girls. They also showed an unusual sense of humor by setting up a competition inspired by ‘the best thing they had every seen on the internet,’ an article they’d read, stating that Nicolas Cage was actually a 140 year old vampire. They want fans to send them funny pictures of the actor and the winner gets free tickets to a gig of their choice on tour. I thought they were joking but look on their Facebook page… they’re not!

It was definitely worth the pain from sitting on that pew for so long, I had enjoyed my night and had witnessed a band which I can tell will become very popular, very soon.  

The Staves’ ‘Mexico’ E.P is out on the 11th of December and for more information visit:

http://www.facebook.com/TheStaves

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