St John’s of Hackney Host Little Noise Sessions

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Hackney played host to the wonderful Little Noise Sessions, aimed to raise money and awareness for Mencap. Joe Whiley hosted the events which went on for 6 days last week – her sister was born mentally handicapped so it was a charity close to her heart. The bands weren’t paid and all the ticket and drinks profits went to charity. Nice. Also nice bars courtesy of Milk & Honey, Chapel Down and Giant Robot.

I went along for two of the nights for headliners Richard Hawley and Noah and the Whale. The venue itself was beautiful and the misty atmosphere immediately struck at the senses. Looming in the background was the intimidatingly big organ pipes. The lights were incredible and added to the ambience of the amazing music.

First Aid Kit openend for Hawley – two scandinavian sisters who can bang out a delicious harmony from folk sounds with some serious headbanging attitude. These girls are humble and sweet and punk.

I’ve never managed to see Richard Hawley before, always somehow missing him at festivals, so was super excited as I waited tentatively in my pew, mulled wine in hand. His opener to the set was “I am Richard Hawley, let’s destroy you”. He aurally, he did! Soundscapes reeling around the church with a layered cake of guitar sounds, pedals and beautiful vocals.

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On the Saturday was a triptych of bands I love. Lucy Rose began the night with dreamy-cute-girly vocals fractured with well thought out time changes and loves-lost lyrics. Her band were great, adding some good percussion and backing. This girl is going to go far, her album is lovely. I’m a little bit in love with her. And I now want a fringe.

We moved downstairs for Villagers where the sound was so much clearer (I am told this is best by the sound deck). Pints of the last of the mulled wine in hand, this boy has a touching stripped back voice which is emotionally accessible and heartfelt. I really like them! I liked them more than Noah and the Whale, and this was the general consensus of the evening. I hope they can share in some of the commercial success of the ‘Whale.

Noah and the Whale ended the night. In quite a spectacular way. The duo that runs the show look like brothers. I think they’d be a bit boring without the string quartet. AND they didn’t play ‘In 5 Years Time… which is about the only song I know apart from LIFEGOESON, which the crowd lapped up in a singalong.

Great venue, great music and a proud feeling that Hackney was the choice of venue for this event.

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Villagers on stage at Little Noise Sessions.

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Noah and the Whale in the pink.

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