Ren Harvieu @ St Pancras Old Church 30th May 2012

Following the top 5 success of Ren Harvieu’s debut album Through The Night a short October tour was announced. Also announced was a special one of London show which was taking place at St Pancras Old Church. Now I have never witnessed a performance in this surrounding but the fact the strict capacity was 100 people did excite me greatly. So once the day arrived I turned up at 4pm. Slightly early I know considering doors were at 7.30pm. But with it being all seating you would need to get there early to get the best view. The weather was constantly changing and the fact there was little shelter resulted in everyone getting wet. Doors opened a couple of minutes after 7.30 and one they did everyone started to trickle in. What I was about to witness was something well and truly magical. Ren Harvieu took to the stage around 9.40pm.

Opening up this spellbinding night was Train Song. This number Harvieu released as a duet with Jack White’s spouse Karen Elson earlier on this year. Only Karen wasn’t there to perform it with her. This was a steady paced song which was delivered superbly. I find that churches were built for acoustic music and it showcased Harvieu’s vocals to perfection. Train Song is actually a cover of singer/ songwriter Vashiti Bunyan back in 1966. Still Ren owned this track. Train Song detailed a guys train journey to find the woman he loves who he hasn’t seen for ages. “Thank you very much. Thanks for coming it’s such a beautiful venue” Harvieu said before following up with Through The Night. There was a jazz feel to this song and it sounded outstanding. It was played at a steady pace and the lyrics were rather luscious. “It’s kind of a strange day for me today. On this day last year I was involved in an accident where my spine snapped in half and then I was told I was never going to walk again. So it’s kind of a bit over whelming to be in this beautiful church performing, walking. It’s like a year exact to this day” Ren said to the intimate audience. Now that accident was well and truly horrific but Harvieu was a fighter and had plenty of will power to defy the odds. It was then onto the light and glorious Summer Romance. The vocal performance left me with goosebumps it was extremely powerful. I rather liked Summer Romance. The lyrics were brilliant and you can clearly picture the story behind the song which is about a summer romance (“Please don’t let me hear you say goodbye”). It was straight into Forever In Blue. I found this song to be rather smooth and the vocal performance was faultless. “The next song I’ve never done live. So, nervous” Ren said before launching into something extremely beautiful. This being Love Is A Melody which both Ed Hardcourt and Jimmy Hogarth wrote. I found this tune to be gentle, soothing and entrancing. Considering this was the first time it had been sung live Harvieu breezed through it at ease. What followed on was Holding On. I found this song to be rather laid back and there was so much energy flowing from this number. There is something about Havieu’s vocals which leave you spellbound. It was then onto another song I had never heard perform live before and this being Do Right By Me. I was literally blown away this song was delivered with plenty of gusto. “The next song is one of my favourite songs it’s a cover and it’s by Roy Orbison” Ren said before getting stuck into something truly unique. This being Crying which Ren made completely her own. This was the 3rd time I had heard Harvieu perform this song. I found it to be slightly eerie and this tune sent a chill up my spine. Crying left me speechless, this number was both entrancing and hypnotic. “This is our last one now. I just wanted to say you were a fantastic audience, actually for London” Ren then mentioned to the tiny audience before ending with the upbeat Open Up Your Arms. Once over Harvieu got a standing ovation then she exited the stage. This was a truly spectacular evening.

SET LIST

Train Song
Through The Night
Summer Romance
Forever In Blue
Love Is Like A Melody
Holding On
Do Right By Me
Crying
Open Up Your Arms

OVERALL: There are many emerging artists out there but Ren Harvieu is someone who captivated me the moment I saw her play at The Lexington earlier on this year. She deserves as much success as possible and the fact she reached #5 with début album Through The Night has set things in motion. Ren Harvieu is an inspiration as she showed that with will power you can overcome anything. There was something rather special about this evening and maybe it was down to the fact she was playing in a tiny church. If you haven’t checked her out before seriously you need to do so.

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