Sunday, November 13, 2016

Live Review :: Passport To Stockholm :: Union Chapel, London - Nov 10 2016

Live Review

Passport To Stockholm 

Union Chapel, London

November 10 2016

Words/photos: Jess Sharrock

First things first. Union Chapel is an incredible venue, a Grade I-listed building nestled in the heart of Islington is a gothic treasure. Although it is still a working church and a help centre for London’s homeless, it also provides a great backdrop for so many bands. Over the past years they have welcomed a veritable who's who of artists through their doors, with tonight being the turn of London-based indie-folk/pop trio Passport To Stockholm.

Currently supporting the Canadian folk musician Ben Caplan for a number of UK dates on the European leg of his tour, the now three-piece - Chris ‘Barny’ Barnard, Tom Piggott and Henri Grimes (after departure of cellist Mariona De Lamo) - take to the stage all seeming pretty excited to be back in London to perform for family, friends and whole lots of fans. After a plug for their merchandise (£5 for passport covers, £10 for t-shirts - great Christmas presents, so we are told), they open with ‘Imperfections’, their soaring debut single of two years ago, and finish with ‘Wanted It More’ taken from their 2015 EP, 'All at Once', and which some may recall from the HTC One mobile campaign. It's a hard one to beat, with its last refrain of, "All that we are left with / is the bittersweet taste of of life / love and lust” ensuring that this crowd will be wanting a lot more.

In between these, is just released latest single of big, hooky electronica, ‘Shooting Stars’, a new song called ‘Shine On’, and a number of their best knowns such as ‘Let Me Know’ where Grimes' percussion rolls in an indelible partnership with Barnard's vocals. Barnard looks at ease on the stage with its impressive backdrop, as he introduces the slower paced ‘One Day’, and the catchy and expressively sonic ‘Better Days’. There is also a great acoustic cover of ‘All At Once’; Barnard's vocal range and strength is incredible, even without the help of the eerie echoes of the Chapel.

I’ve been fondly watching Passport to Stockholm grow over the past few years, and with their now having achieved over 1,000,000 streams on Spotify, there is no sign of these guys not extending their reach even further over the next year. If you haven't already, time to get your own passport in check and book a trip to their next gig near you.

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