Gig Review – The Staves at The Old Fire Station

The folk rock trio of sisters from Watford captivated the audience on their first visit to Bournemouth with a flawless performance.

As their ‘If I Was’ Autumn tour comes to a conclusion, The Staves entertained an audience of all ages at The Old Fire Station on Sunday night. The trio are currently promoting their second studio album, If I Was, which was released back in March and have also performed at Glastonbury and supported Florence and the Machine on her ‘How Big’ tour this year.

The band were supported by Puerto Rican/Belgian singer songwriter Gabriel Rios and band members Ruben Samama and Amber Docters van Leeuwen. Support acts at gigs can be very hit and miss, but this group of talented musicians have been one of the best I have seen!  Their unique sound, combining the acoustic guitar, double bass and cello, engaged the audience, much to the bands delight as it became apparent that they were not used to having the audience all facing, focusing on them and the music. This tour has seen them perform in front of a UK audience for the first time, playing a half an hour set of songs selected from their latest album This Marauder’s Midnight, which you should all check out here.

The Staves played an hour and half set, playing tracks from both their latest album and their first album, Dead & Born & Grown. The trio opened with one of their title tracks, Steady, before their faultless harmonies really brought their single, Blood I Bled, to life. They were accompanied on stage by a range of musicians playing trumpet, trombone, bass guitar, drums and keyboards, who all delivered a very solid, well rehearsed performance.

The sisters – Camilla, Emily and Jessica – made an interesting and clever use of the loop pedal, layering up harmonies as part of the outro which features on the track Let Me Down. Their cover of Feel by one of their favourite bands Bombay Bicycle Club was well received by the crowd, as was the unveiling of one of their new tracks, which marked a move away from their usual acoustic style of music, instead featuring more prominent electric guitars and synths.

Their usual plans to return for an encore were slightly changed, as due to the proximities of this venue they didn’t have anywhere to go off stage. Instead they had a bit of fun and turned around asking the audience to make some noise and pretend they had gone off stage.

Jessica posted this picture on Twitter of one of the cards she had received at the gig.
Jessica posted this picture on Twitter of one of the cards she had received at the gig.

Before closing the show they revealed that they had been in contact on Twitter with a member of the audience who took to the stage with his girlfriend to make a special announcement, proposing to her on stage. Thankfully, much to the boy’s and the audiences relief she said yes, which prompted the setting off of party cannons and their finale track, Teeth White.

They took to Twitter to some up the night: “Lovely cards, a proposal, party cannons and a great crowd! Thanks Bournemouth, couldn’t have asked for more.” An unexpected, but fitting end to a brilliant performance from the sisters, who’s unique and distinctive harmonies did not disappoint! If you have not listened to them yet then make sure you do!

The Staves‘ new album, If I Was, is available now and you can visit their website here.

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