Thursday, 17 September 2015

Richard Dawson / Asiq Nargile / Spires That In The Sunlight Rise - Live at St Gabriel's Church, Heaton, Newcastle [17th September 2015]

[2015.09.17] Tom Hollingworth, for NARC Magazine.

Entering St. Gabriel’s Church, we are treated to the memory of incense long soaked into the furnishings. 

Sat humbly on chairs in front of the chancel and imposing golden imagery, the duo Spires That In The Sunlight Rise set the night alive, looping flute and saxophone passages amongst samples and synths. Kathleen Baird’s contralto burned lyrics into their aching sonic impressions. 

A touring companion, fluent in English, introduced Asiq Nargile, explaining that she would be singing songs that made up portions of epics. Having the outlines of these stories prior to the performance may have helped the audience contextualise, however, standing stoic, using only her head, vocal cords and flying fingers (unfolding the encyclopaedia of her sas,) to demonstrate, Nargile captivated all with strength, beauty and precise articulation. 

It is a testament to his expanding reputation that one member of this audience had travelled up from Malvern, Worcestershire exclusively to see Richard Dawson before returning the next day. Dawson ran long with his many facets: a greater range of music (including a Shirley Collins cover,) more jokes, more bananas. His conviction in the distinction for each of his songs shows his skills are as sharp as they have ever been.

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