In my youth it was a great pub, a regular haunt in the early 1970s and virtually the only place open in Edinburgh’s Cowgate. Then it was The Nips Of Brandy; now a music venue, Sneaky Pete’s is surrounded by pubs and clubs and The Cowgate really comes alive at night. This is where I returned on Saturday 5th February to witness Saint Saviour perform a set showcasing a range of her solo work, which has been rapidly developing since the end of last year’s Groove Armada tour. On a night off whilst touring with Hurts she had managed to get a venue to allow her to bring her skills to Edinburgh. Whilst I can appreciate large gigs, I really do prefer the intimacy that accompanies performances in venues such as this one. With spectacular lighting effects she really owned the stage as she sang and danced during numbers such as ‘Look Me In The Eye Sister’ and ‘Paper Romance’ with Groove Armada, and having seen her perform with them, she did appear to dwarf the small stage in Sneaky Pete’s as she again demonstrated her fluid and expressive dance movements. None of the laser light shows or of her extrovert, illuminated costumes here, just a truly inspiring performance by an extremely talented artist who clearly loves what she does.

With the uncommon sight of a cello and harp on stage the set began with Saint Saviour at her keyboard and a song that included echoes of Kate Bush. Due to the fact that I have heard so much music throughout my life I can usually detect some aspects that remind me of artists and bands heard previously but I don’t see this as a criticism when there is clear evidence of originality and no hint of blatant copying – it simply underscores the fact that some sounds deserve to be reworked by other creative minds, and particularly wonderful when executed by a lady with such a mesmerising voice . She moved from the keyboard to centre stage – at times her moves stretching ‘skyward’ had me expecting her to come into contact with the ceiling mounted speakers, but she managed to avoid doing so. After the two introductory songs she returned to the keyboard for a couple of slower numbers, the haunting ‘Fallen Trees’ brought this middle segment to a close when she returned to centre stage for a mesmerising finale featuring the first two tracks from her new EP. ‘This Ain’t No Hymn’ led into ‘Birdsong’, the powerful tribal rythms were an absolute joy – having thrilled the audience with an excellent cross-section of her work, unfortunately the set was over far too soon, leaving me wishing for more.

To make the evening even more special I was able to purchase my copy of the new EP ‘Anatomy’ which I have been eagerly anticipating – in addition to the excellent music, the artwork was created by the talented Megan Herbert, and Saint Saviour had also succeeded in sourcing recycled sleeves.

I look forward to seeing her career continue to develop and hope to be able to have her as a featured artist on a future ‘Wind Up The Month’ – March and April are already allocated – the next again one MAY be the time to do this.

‘Fallen Trees’ video – beautifully shot near Dungeness Power Station

Megan Herbert website

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