Sometimes things just come together, most often it’s a plan as demonstrated time and again in the A Team and now here in the serene Medieval setting of St Giles’ Parish Church, Wrexham. Standing for over five hundred years it has certainly witnessed some changes, reputedly Oliver Cromwell, took sufficient umbrage that he opened fire on the place with canon. It survived and still stands firm, a permanent beacon of hope, strength and tranquillity for those of the parish in need. A symbol of consistency in change, reassurance in uncertain times.
The faithful who flocked within its ancient walls tonight had come in search of musical therapy and were amply blessed by two of Wales’s finest exponents of electro-dream pop. Golden Fable are the ultimate in indie, taking the word to its logical conclusion and crafting music of complexity and beauty to please themselves and a good deal of others too. No record label or industry demand impinges on their creativity and that is always a good thing.
Tonight they are returning to the venue where they launched their debut album, Star Map, nearly five years ago. There’s been a lot of water flowed down the River Gwenfro since then, but Golden Fable have always retained an ear for the melody and an instinct for innovation. Guitarist Tim told us of how his plan came together from last year’s Focus Wales when the idea was born for Golden Fable to collaborate with NEW Sinfonia and tonight was the first public view of an initiative that somehow just seems right.
There has always been the majestic element to their soundscapes and hearing the band perform with orchestral accompaniment seems to make perfect sense. Rebecca’s voice, if not unique then certainly distinctive, suddenly seems to have added depth with the richer sound. Throw in a perfectly lit venue and you have something so different that the word ‘spiritual’ is not misplaced. This was a sublime performance and we wait for further developments of what seems certain to be a fruitful partnership.
It would be difficult for many artists to follow this but Georgia Ruth did not so much follow as extend the experience of a special evening. Her second album, Fossil Scale, was released last October and showed her star was still very much in the ascendancy. Very much like Golden Fable, the ambience of the venue seemed to suit the music perfectly and the combination ensured the special experience continued.
There is a strong folk element to Georgia Ruth’s music, never better shown than when she and her band performed a re-worked sea-shanty that was positively spine tingling. However, what she is more than anything is a superb song-writer and a personal highlight would be the rendition of the superb When I was Blue.
Georgia Ruth and Golden Fable both show, like the church in which they performed, the importance of consistency in change. Despite the ever changing styles in music, that some leap on as if it is the last bus from hell, there is no substitute for beauty in music and both delivered perfectly tonight.
All words Dave Jennings
Images courtesy of film café (filmcafe.co.uk)