The Pierces @ Union Chapel 26th June 2012

The Pierces at the Union Chapel was set to be something special indeed. I had not seen both Catherine and Allison play live since the Bush Hall gigs last June. Also what excited me was the fact the support was James Levy & The Blood Red Rose. For those who don’ t know this is Allison’s side project band. I arrived at 5pm and the doors opened at 7pm. Once they did open my friends and I sat at the front to witness what was o be an amazing evening. Support was on at 8pm while The Pierces were listed to come on an hour later.

“Hello” James Levy said to the sold out Union Chapel. “Good Evening” Allison Pierce then said. The first song of the night being Sneak Into My Room. Allison Pierce embarked onto a brand new project with James Levy (the man behind the song Glorious) to release a fantastic album called Pray To Be Free. Sneak Into My Room was a hypnotic song and both Pierces’s and Levy’s vocals complimented one another. James’s vocals were deep and Allison’s were soft and gentle. Its chorus was really sweet and it actually reminded me a lot of Big Deal. “Well thank you very much. We are James Levy and The Blood Red Rose. I’m on double duty for this evening as you can see” Allison then mentioned to the audience before Give Me Happiness. This was a steady paced song and Levy’s vocals were powerful whilst Pierce’s were a lot softer. The majority of Cryin’ To The River was sung by Allison Pierce. Its lyrics were fantastic and mesmerising. I could pick up on a country vibe to this song. Allison then left the stage to leave James to perform a song by himself. This was to be RIVFA which was a song by his previous band LEVY. I really liked the song and the acoustics of the chapel worked wonders. “So James and I met in the East Village of New York City quite a few years ago and I just always loved his voice, his music so much that I asked if he wanted to start a band” Pierce said when she was on the stage. Hung To Dry was both pacey and rather infectious. It is one of my favourites from album Pray To Be Free. Both Allison and James shared the vocals for this stunning song. It was then onto the albums title track and this being Pray To Be Free. This steady paced song was delivered superbly. After a little conference on stage it was then decided to sing Cry Myself To Sleep. I rather liked this song and the vocals were shared between Levy and Pierce. Allison then left James on stage to sing Rotten Love and this being another song from his previous band LEVY. This song was in fact Levy’s début single. It was then onto Painted Red which sounded beautiful and entrancing. It was mainly sung by Levy with Pierce harmonising.  “We have one more song and then I’ll see you soon” Pierce said before they both ended with Walk Not Run.


Sneak Into My Room
Give Me Happiness
Cryin’ To The River
Hung To Dry
Pray To Be Free
Cry Myself To Sleep
Rotten Love
Painted Red
Walk Not Run

The Pierces took to the stage to the opening of Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve. The audience erupted into applause and then they got stuck into the opening song. This being a Depeche Mode cover of Enjoy The Silence. I have not heard the original but their take on this song was wonderful. Enjoy The Silence was a smooth song and the vocals were impeccable.  Love You More followed on and it featured on the self titled EP which was released in 2010. The majority was sung by Catherine with Allison providing the harmonies. Catherine just belted out this song and it sounded incredible. I liked the opening chords of the guitar just as the song begins. It Will Not Be Forgotten was played straight after. This song told the story of lost love. This was a beautiful gentle folk song which was perfectly sung plus the lyrics were fantastic. Also the harmonising between the sisters was amazing and spot on. “Thank you so much. We’re so happy to be back. We missed you guys” Catherine then said before Drag You Down. Catherine and Allison’s vocals gelled together which resulted in a fantastic song. The lyrics were fantastic and I especially liked the opening verse. “It’s so good to be with you in the Lords house. Is this music appropriate for the lord?” Catherine then mentioned before Allison replied by saying “All music is appropriate for the Lord he doesn’t mind”. It was then into Kissing You Goodbye. This number was powerful and the majority was sung by Allison with Catherine harmonising. “Were you here for the opening band. I thought they were pretty good” Catherine then said before launching into Piece Of You which was written by Catherine. This song featured on the You’ll Be Mine EP. This steady paced song was smoothly delivered and was slightly infectious at the same time. “So Alli and I are from Birmingham, Alabama and this next song is a little piece of home for us” Catherine said before getting stuck into Sticks And Stones which featured on the Thirteen Tales Of Love And Revenge LP. This was an infectious song and was delivered at a furious pace. It was then straight into Secret. This is probably the most mainstream song due to the fact it has been played in some TV shows. There are also strong folk roots throughout this song. Secret itself was extremely haunting when you carefully listen its lyrics. The Good Samaritan followed on. This song was mainly sung by Allison and it is a quiet song which sounded extremely beautiful. The Good Samaritan was delivered to perfection and the vocals were flawless. There were traces of soul for Close My Eyes. This steady paced song had lyrics which were belted out. Close My Eyes was very upbeat. “We’ve been gone so long but we have been working on new songs for you. We’re not going to play any of them tonight” Catherine Pierce then teased the audience. It was then onto something truly incredible and this being their own twist on Nirvana’s Come As You Are. Actually it sounded rather light compared to the original. “So is everyone having a good Summer so far?” Allison said before they both got stuck into another B site and this being City On Fire. This song was very up tempo and very powerful at the same time. Space And Time was played straight after. This beautiful song was faultlessly delivered. There was so much energy oozing from this song and it showcased Allison’s vocals perfectly. “This next song is another one that Catherine wrote it’s called We Are Stars. Yeah it’s a good one. It’s about how we are made of the same thing that stars are made of. On the most basic level we are the same and we want to love and to be loved in return but for some strange reason we resist that sometimes” Allison Pierce said before We Are Stars. This song was lovely, very light and smooth as well. I loved the lyrics especially the chorus. You’ll Be Mine was the penultimate song on the night and it was dedicated to Mary. This number was both light and extremely uplifting. “Well thank you so much. We have one more song. Thank you all so much for coming out and being such a glorious audience” Allison said before they both rounded things off with Glorious. Both Catherine and Allison sang this powerful song which was delivered superbly. Once over both sisters left the stage after having played a magical 16 song set. Minutes later Allison and Catherine returned to the stage for a three song encore. “Have y’all been drinking or something” Allison said to the audience as everyone was up on their feet. “They can slow jam” Catherine said after Allison said it was a slow number next. This song was another cover and this being Simon & Garfunkel’s Kathy’s Song. Everyone then sat back down. “Alli and I started singing together in church many many years ago. Like 10 years ago. But it’s cool to be back in this setting. I’m having flashbacks” Catherine said. Now this cover was completely a capella. It made my hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge. The vocals were startling and the acoustics in the church worked wonders. “This next one is one of Allison’s and it’s one of my favourites. It’s about being a musician and dating a musician” Catherine then said before Allison chipped in “That’s not really a great idea once you break up”. “We don’t recommend it” Catherine then said. The song in question being I Put Your Records On. This mellowing slow paced song was both gentle and lovely. The way they harmonise together was spot on. Also the lyrics paint the perfect picture. Boring featured on the 3rd LP Thirteen Tales Of Love And Revenge. It is really different from anything on the album You & I. For this song both Catherine and Allison were swaying about. Still this song capped off what was extraordinary night.


Enjoy The Silence
Love You More
It Will Not Be Forgotten
Drag You Down
Kissing You Goodbye
Piece Of You
Sticks And Stones
The Good Samaritan
Close My Eyes
Come As You Are
City On Fire
Space And Time
We Are Stars
You’ll Be Mine


Kathy’s Song
I Put Your Records On

OVERALL: This was an incredible evening which featured 2 amazing acts. It is a shame that Pray To Be Free by James Levy & The Blood Red Rose wasn’t being sold at the merch desk because I really enjoyed the set that they played.

As for The Pierces all I can say is WOW. The vocals in the Chapel were extraordinary and that cover of Kathy’s Song left me speechless. The only slight drawback being the fact there was a stand (which displayed the lyrics to the covers they did) which was put in the middle of the stage. So if you were front row and taking pictures you would only get either Catherine or Allison as this stand divided the two. Still the cover versions were sublime and I look forward till the next gig where they showcase brand new material.


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