In 2018, I saw my first concert at London’s Union Chapel. This was the only London gig for Lucius, promoting their latest album ‘Nudes.’
I knew of Lucius singers. Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig from their work supporting Roger Waters on backing vocals for his Desert Trip concert and subsequent ‘Us & Them’ tour. Tonight’s concert was just Lucius. Their latest album was fantastic so it was to be a great night anyway. But a tiny bit of me secretly hoped Roger Waters may appear. After all, he’d appeared on their album and used to have a studio round the corner..
Although I’d heard of Union Chapel I’d never been before and hadn’t realised it was actually a chapel! There were no allocated seats, you just turn up and join the queue to get a seat. Or a pew. Because this was a chapel we were sitting on pews. I quickly realised the etiquette here was to swan in with your chums, leave a copy of Dostoevsky to mark your place and swan off to the cafe upstairs. Being on my own, I found a good spot and stayed put (bar a trip to the hatch to buy a can of coke and a Tunnocks Tea Cake!)
The opening act was an atmospheric three piece playing some wonderful folksy numbers. Like many opening acts, the vocals were lost to the drums so it was hard to actually work out their band name. Maybe in part it was also the band name – ‘Wovoka Gentle’ doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue, but the music stayed with me. Sadly it looks like some of their tracks have been removed from Spotify, but you could try Eleanor-19/William-19/Imogen-19 as a good start.
The main Lucius set covered a mixture of their own tracks, opening with Go Home and Tempest before their wonderful version of Right Down the Line. I’m not usually a fan of covers but Lucius version of the Gerry Rafferty does offer a wonderful interpretation of the original.
Lucius is officially a four piece but the focus it is the incredible complimentary voices of Jess and Holly that elevate the band to something worth seeing. By wearing the same outfits, and wigs the singing duo present a unique presence – the sum is greater than the parts.
The final song of the set was the wonderful, acoustic, Woman, sung so tenderly and beautifully it left me with spine tingles and maybe a small tear in my eye.
But what of the encore and would Roger turn up?
Yes, he did! After some banter about recording the Wall round the corner in Islington, Roger sang “Goodnight Irene’ and then moved onto Pink Floyd’s Mother. Wow, just wow! There are times at other concerts where I have missed guest performers by one night (I saw Roger the night before David Gilmour joined him, saw Fleetwood Mac the night before Christine McVie sat in) so this was a real treat.
The band were left to finish off their set with a couple of great tracks before I headed for the tube – happy that I had seen three great acts in one night. Wovoka Gentle were great, Lucius were fantastic and the appearance of Roger was the icing on the cake.