Charm of Finches

The Musician, Leicester

3 May 2022

I wasn't going to write a review of this gig. In fact, I've spent the last few days convincing myself that my impulsive decision to come to Leicester after the Charm of Finches Oxford concert last week was a bad idea. I mean, Leicester's not the most convenient place for me, and it's mid-week, and how can this gig be any different from the last one?

But as soon as I'm sitting at the front of The Musician and they come on stage and begin the first song, I know it was exactly the right decision to come, and this this is going to be the best concert I've ever seen.

First, there's the basic fact that every venue has a unique sound. The Musician is using much more amplification than the Holywell Music Rooms in Oxford (or maybe it's just due to me being three feet in front of the speaker stack), and the resulting sound is deeper, more enveloping. You experience the music differently at this volume. It's not necessarily better, just different. No, I'm wrong. It is better. They sound phenomenal like this.

Second, it's a different set list. Not completely different, it's still based mainly on the last album, but they switch a few things, including two of my favourite songs that they didn't play in Oxford (and sadly omitting my absolute favourite this time, but it's ok, I was happy with the changes). I think overall the set might be a bit shorter than in Oxford, but there's still around 90 minutes of music.

And even if it had been a carbon copy of the last gig, it would have been worth it. Because this is just beautiful music, and needs to be listened to as often as possible.

And I have to mention one more thing that made me glad I came: the support act, JJ Lovegrove, one of those rare discoveries that's instantly become a favourite. She plays 30 minutes of her own material (plus a Kate Bush cover), and first impressions are that she's got an excellent set of songs, a beautiful voice (with a warm, low range that's quite refreshing in these days of endless sopranos), and a really interesting and unusual keyboard style. Somebody I would definitely want to see again, if she ever ventures closer than Leicester.

Nothing against Leicester, but it's really a pain to get to.

But worth it for a gig like this.