Buried in the heart of Notting Hill lies The Tabernacle. This grade 2 listed building has plenty of history. It was opened in 1888 and in the last decade the building itself has had a £4 million refurbishment featuring a new hall, studios, art gallery and bar/ restaurant. This place is so hidden away it was very easy to get lost. It took about 20 minutes to find it. Once I arrived I found that the fact I could go inside was nice. The inside of The Tabernacle did look amazing. Waiting inside was a real treat as it is very rarely venues left you in early. Plus the fact it was raining outside made it a added bonus. The night was running on time and the doors opened at 7pm. The way that they do the tickets was a bit confusing as you needed to go over to the reception and get your hand stamped. At some venues they do it when the doors open from the point you are in the queue. So the doors opened and I went up the stairs then into the theatre it was taking place. The way the stage was set made it feel nice and intimate as there was no barrier. For some reason when everyone went in Alex Gardner was still finishing his sound check. So after he went offstage only to come back on to start his set. Well Alex came back to the stage at 7.30pm. The set was a short 5 songs but it was enough to satisfy my musical tastes. Alex who hails from Scotland has also got a support slot for Scouting For Girls lined up. The songs he sung were just a little taster for when the debut album is released. There is a soulfulness in his voice which is nice. The opening song was forthcoming single Yesterdays News and that is one thing that wont happen to Alex. Well from listening to the set Alex does have a bright future ahead of him. I look forward to hearing more from him when he supports Paloma Faith at the Jazz Café.
Yes I’ve Tried
I’m Not Mad
Where Were You?
At 8.20pm it was onto Coco Sumner (I Blame Coco). Stepping aside from her old Ska-ish roots (I Blame Coco, Darkstar) she has stepped into the mainstream Pop market. Her first single being Caesar which also features the vocals of Swedish singer Robyn. If you like that song you will love the rest of the new songs. Well the set was only 7 songs long but it left me wanting to hear more by Coco. Now I really like this change of direction. The first song on the night was Party Bag. It was a very strong song and had brilliant lyrics. I love the melody that went to the song. Self Machine is probably the only song (apart from Caesar) that people would of heard if they had not heard Coco before. A clip of the song is currently on her Myspace page. The third song on the night was In Spirit Golden and it had a nice powerful chorus. Following on was It’s About To Get Worse. Coco took to her electric guitar. As with all the songs I would like to hear the studio versions of them. The penultimate song being Quicker. I like the beat to this song and Coco definitely got stuck into the song delivering it perfectly. The final song on the night was the single which is to be released on 1st February. This being Caesar but it was minus Robyn. Replacing Robyn for the night was Plan B. Now as much as I like the song the only drawback about this performance was that you could hardly hear the vocals by Plan B. Either the microphone was not working or he was being drowned out by sound. Well if you have not heard Caesar yet it’s a up tempo song. My favourite part of the song has to be the bridge:
Now who holds the show
Will be Caesar
You can even have it written on your T-shirt
Here we go
After that song Coco went offstage only to return to do a startling acoustic performance of Summer Rain. Coco has such a strong voice. She delivered this song perfectly and I completely adored it.
In Spirit Golden
It’s About To Get Worse
OVERALL: Coco is definitely a talent to behold. The new direction in style of music is a brave one as there are people out there who liked the Coco of the old. But after hearing this set it was the right decision to change to mainstream pop. Coco will do well and I for one cant wait for more releases in the future. The highlight of the set has to be Summer Rain which was spine tingling. The rest of the crowd loved the set. Yes you did get the odd people talking through the set but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the night. Alex Gardner who opened the night was a really good warm up act. I left The Tabernacle wanting to hear more from both in the future.