Friday, 6 February 2015

The Staves - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

Back in 2011 I went over to Belfast to see some family. Whilst over there we went to a gig in The Grand Opera House where I saw a band called The Staves who were the support act for James Vincent McMorrow.

This is why blogging is good you know - you can read about that trip and that gig right here.

We wandered in in the middle of their set and to say I was blown away was an enormous understatement. The first song I heard them sing was Winter Trees and it gave me shivers, it really did. That harmonising, the together-ness, the absolute silence of the audience whilst they were singing. I'm hesitant to use the word 'magical' because it sounds hugely wanky but instead let's just say that that moment stuck with me for a long time.

It stuck with me so much in fact that I have waited patiently for four long year before getting the chance to see them again. I have tried in the past but they either haven't played anywhere near me, or I haven't had anyone to go with.

My patience (and complete stalking of Facebook, Twitter and signing up to newsletters) paid off and when I saw that there was going to be a new tour taking place in 2015 to celebrate the release of their new album and that they were playing even a little bit vaguely near me at  The Rescue Rooms in Nottingham I snapped those tickets up.

And I mean snapped as soon as they went on sale in a kind of unnecessary frenzy.

Unfortunately the new album, If I Was, is yet to be released, the victim of record company re-scheduling, meaning that The Staves are out there playing songs from an album that none of the audience have heard. 

Actually a pretty daunting prospect when you think about it.

But it hasn't stopped fans like me and when I last checked their tour is all but sold out on two dates. 

My friend and I packed into The Rescue Rooms on Wednesday and I have never heard a crowd so silent as these unbelievably talented ladies changed their guitars and re-tuned between songs. So silent that I felt bad for coughing. Such the level of respect that fans are willing to just stand and wait with baited breath until they are ready to sing again.

It is rare beyond words to have the pleasure of listening to a band that sound exactly the same as the album that you have been listening to through your headphones for years but standing in that room felt like being in my living room - just with a lot of extra middle-aged, bearded people as well.

No-one cared that the new songs were new, it's impossible to not get swept away on the rivers of harmonies that sweep over you, I was a fan of some of the newer songs that feature a lot more instrumentals on and the effect on the crowd was immediate when the bouncier numbers were played. 

And that is how rare and special their talent is. To be able to write and perform songs which verge more into the 'pop-ier' scene at the same time as performing beautiful and simple unaccompanied harmonies which belong more on the folk side.

They performed some of the favourites from the last album, Dead & Born & Grown, including Winter Trees which was every bit as beautiful as I remembered it being four years ago.

It was worth the wait, but I hope I won't have to wait this long before seeing them again.

(By the way - you can pre-order the upcoming album, If I Was, on that there iTunes. You should do it.)


Only one week into February and I've officially ticked off this month's Not Really Resolution to go somewhere new. I'm on fire baby.


  1. I've been to a couple of gigs by myself, it's not so bad, at least you have like minded people to talk to! They sound cool, I'm going to look them up, I always need new music :)

  2. They sound lovely, I will have to check out their music!

    Maria xxx


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