Live Review: Xmas Jumper Jam – London

Xmas Jumper Jam

Photo: Jeff Galasso

Photo: Jeff Galasso

Editors, The Charlatans, The Subways, Andy Burrows, Bear’s Den & Rhodes
Union Chapel, London, December 4th 2014

Sometimes there are just shows that blow your mind and sometimes there are shows that b l o w your mind. This gig, in aid of Save The Children, would be one of the latter. Not just because my favourite band of all time were playing, but that I loved everyone else too!  My mind was blown before I even got in there so…

Rhodes has one of those vocals that was just made for performing in a church – if you’re a believer then his voice was a gift from the man upstairs, if you’re not then it’s just an incredible talent. Either way we’re all onto a winner. Soaringly high and pitch perfect vocals filled the church – beautifully lit like I’ve never seen before.  I could have listened to him do all of his songs one after the other followed by the phone book but sadly it was not to be. Rhodes played  Run, Raise Your Love, Your Soul and his latest single Breathe.

Watch Rhodes live at Xmas Jumper Jam here:

I couldn’t stay disappointed for long that Rhodes had left the stage because I was sat smack bang in front of 3 of my favourite bearded banjo wielding band members  –  Bear’s Den. Somehow I have managed to go almost an entire year without seeing them play live, which isn’t that hard to believe as they have just got back from a huge headline tour of the US. Their heavenly harmonies and touching personal lyrics made for something truly special in this setting and I totally had a lump in my throat toward the end. Again, a very short n sweet set consisting of Agape, Issac, Magdalene and Above The Clouds of Pompeii.

Watch Agape by Bear’s Den live at Xmas Jumper Jam here:

This show just wouldn’t have felt enough like Christmas without the appearance of Mr Andy Burrows. He worked on the soundtrack for The Snowman And The Dog as well as having released the Smith and Burrows Christmas album. Having never actually seen him live as a solo performer I have to say his performance won me over instantly. He was also clearly very happy to be involved and feeling very festive and was so warm with the crowd. Andy played As Good As Gone, See A Girl, Watch Me Fall Again, Hometown and his penned Razorlight track America.

Watch Andy Burrows perform America at Xmas Jumper Jam here:

A short intermission followed due to the impending change of pace, The Subways were up next and with full on rock Bass guitar, a tambourine and an acoustic guitar I was interested to see and hear how this full on rock get up was going to strip back. They said they were more nervous than they have ever been, even when playing Glastonbury. They needn’t have been. The songs still worked really well and the crowd totally got behind them too. The Subways played Oh Yeah, Shake! Shake!, Rock n Roll Queen and new track Taking All The Blame.

Watch The Subways perform Rock N Roll Queen at Xmas Jumper Jam here:

 The Charlatans were up next – the roof was pretty high and their set up wasn’t their usual but boy did they raise the roof of Union Chapel. Starting off with their Warm Sounds version of North Country Boy was genius. A song known by all but a version known only to us mega fans or those who have seen Tim Burgess play solo. Followed on by A Man Needs To Be Told, simply because “it’s the only song with Christmas in”.  New tracks So Oh and Come Home Baby also got an airing much to my personal delight. They ended oh so brilliantly with Impossible and arguably one of their most loved live songs Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over, for which they were joined on stage by Andy Burrows who sang his heart out in the background and shook some sleigh bells with the band’s two amazing backing singers. I’ve seen this band almost 100 times, this performance was right up there. I just couldn’t take the grin off my face.

Watch The Charlatans live at Xmas Jumper Jam here:

It felt like an eternity between the next intermission and Editors making their way to the very prettily flower decorated set. I will admit I was full on into these guys way back in the early days of their career and followed them until around their third album when I started to loose track a little. I’ve not seen them play live for many years and boy do I now regret it. It was clear they had a really huge fan base in the church. On one side I had two French girls (one of whom cried during the set) and on the other a die hard fan from Liverpool. It wasn’t just them though, it was everyone.  Beginning with what are now classic tracks Munich and Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors the atmosphere was incredible as more people seemed to sing along, the sound bouncing off the walls and creating a perfect hum of harmonies. A really powerful acoustic version A Ton Of Love and the incredible Nothing before Andy Burrows once more joined the stage to perform a cover of Smith & Burrows doing a cover with This Aint New Jersey. Editors ended their set with the ever rousing Papillion and a great cover of Dancing In The Dark.

Watch The Editors perform at Xmas Jumper Jam here:
Watch Smith & Burrows perform This Aint New Jersey here:

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

    All articles written by Elena Katrina unless otherwise stated.

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