THE VIEW FROM FAR OUT: SOAK – Union Chapel, Islington

We at Far Out love a good old beer-dripping, sweat-inducing, crowd-swelling jaunt when we go see a gig. It’s our preference and we are sticking to it. However, when you go to somewhere like the incredible Union Chapel in Islington and you see an artist at the top of her game creating music which felt spiritual in its honesty and vulnerability, we tend to get a little chill down our spines. This is what happened when we saw SOAK last night.

SOAK, the 19 year old Bridie whom has just received a Mercury Music Prize nomination (honestly, what were you doing at 19 you shameful lot), created a night which felt truly special. Her impeccable performance mirrored by its intangible surroundings, we sat in awe as we saw someone so young perform an ageless and divine set.

Performing tracks like ‘blud’, ‘Be A Nobody’ and ‘Sea Creatures’ were of course highlights, the songs having quickly transcended from gentile declarations of self in to a reciprocal emotional glue that binds her audience with her art.

We felt genuinely blessed to have seen SOAK in this surrounding. The venue is incredible. Fact. Its original purpose lending itself magically to an artist of SOAK’s design, allowing swirls of notes and her immaculate vocal to move between arcs and pews and create a welcoming wall of effectual sonic warmth.

Beyond the beautiful setting, the impeccable performance both vocally and musically (it was genuinely like listening to the record… in a church) SOAK demonstrated that although she may be young, her heart may be full of bubbling, awkward emotion and her music may be vulnerable – she has the strength of artistic merit to carry it all off, and probably the chapel as well, with aplomb.

Mercury Music Prize or not, SOAK is one of the best artists around right now. By an Irish mile.

 

JACK WHATLEY

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