The beautiful setting of St Giles’s Church played host to a quartet of talented acts from North Wales and the surrounding area in the St Giles’s Sessions on Saturday 8th September.
The evening kicked off with two short sets from a pair of singer-songwriters, firstly James McGregor of Wrexham who was a great choice to get things going – he has a strong voice and seemed to grow in confidence with each song. He was followed by Meilir, who slowed things down with some enjoyably entrancing music.
With St Giles’s rapidly filling up as the evening progressed, there was a decent audience there as shy and the fight took centre stage. The six-piece played an outstanding set of melodic folk whose beautiful harmonies and stunning playing made them sound like there were far more than half a dozen of them in the group. Their stand-out song was the wonderful “Living”, with its gorgeous “We’ll all be going home alone tonight” refrain, but there wasn’t a bad number amongst the setlist and they got by far the biggest round of applause of the night to this point.
Finally, though, the group that we’d all been waiting for took to the stage. Golden Fable – the pairing of Tim McIver and Rebecca Palin, backed by a drummer for the first songs of the night. While McIver sang the act’s first song, Palin took over on vocals for the majority of the set and her sublime voice and the group’s folk-tinged pop went down a storm with the crowd. An early highlight was the superb “Always Golden” but the audience got even more involved as the duo came forward into the nave of the church for a few songs. Stripped down to the bare basics of McIver’s guitar and Palin’s voice, they performed some wonderful acoustic numbers, of which the most impressive was perhaps a stunning cover of the Manic Street Preachers’ “Motorcycle Emptiness”. After 3 or 4 songs, though, they returned to the stage set-up and brought back their drummer to finish things off, with the highlight of this last part being their excellent rendition of “Restless Souls”. They looked thrilled at how successful the evening had been as they soaked in the well-deserved cheers of the crowd at the end.
Throughout the night, we were also treated to some great DJ sets from Gallops and Adam Walton of BBC Radio Wales in between each act.
All in all, a great night of music in a really unique setting which showed the level of talent the area’s musicians have.