Returning to a venue I’ve already witnessed an exceptional performance by Phildel who managed to again to up the ante. Tonight she turned the venue into her magical world with a giant maypole adorning some of the floor. With no support this was her stage and the audience was tonight full of non-media folk which was a big difference to that of the St. Pancras Old Church show last month. As a result tonight she responded magnificently to her fans of which I love to count myself as one of them.
The lights dimmed and the band took to the stage followed by six masked dancers who moved to the maypole, each picked up a ribbon tied to the structure. They then began to dance around it accompanied by a sparse instrumental arrangement of ‘Union Stone‘, which would sound so good as my mobile’s ringtone. Once this had concluded the dancers joined the crowd as the musicians launched into the title track of her debut album ‘Disappearance Of The Girl‘. Phildel then emerged in an elegant white dress no doubt fashioned by her friend Henrietta Ludgate. From the onset her voice was powerful as ever and instantly commanded the hall with her stage presence. ‘Storm Song‘ then had its first airing of the night and as with each show it’s grown in stature similar to that of the maypole.
Phildel then proceeded to the grand piano to perform the proper version of ‘Union Stone‘ of which it was played faultlessly. She then sang ‘Beside You‘ a song now over four years old and honed into perfection as a diamond cutter would produce an outstanding gem. We then hear about one of Phildel’s strange dreams that involved eggs and rolling down a hill, she’s such a dreamer but ain’t all songwriters? ‘Afraid Of The Dark‘ followed a song which grows with each play. The most poignant song of the night ‘The Wolf‘ leaves you in doubt this woman means business. As ever she was aided by Chris (keyboards) and Adam (drums and bookshelf) and joined by Enrica and Luca on backing vocals who harmonised so well. Luca also plays a mean violin.
The interaction between her and the crowd continued during the night something I know she revels in. Next we were served a masterful version of ‘Moonsea‘, her voice really does reach out to you here. If I didn’t know her better you’d think she was miming as her voice hits all the notes but there’s nothing false about this woman’s work. Two songs which don’t get the full credit they’re due are performed next in the shape of ‘Switchblade‘ and ‘Mistakes‘, go have a good listen to their make up it doesn’t wash away too easily. With just the Luca on violin and Phildel playing piano we hear ‘Dare‘ a song fit for angels to sing, which surely she is one. The main set concludes with ‘Funeral Bell‘ as does the album. The sound was inch perfect and every note was pristine.
The encore consisted of ‘Holes In Your Coffin‘ a track recently used by Hollyoaks which suggests the media are taking note of her and the second outing of ‘Storm Song‘. The emotions of the response were getting the better of her by the end of the show. She shed a few tears in the arms of Chris and we comforted her with even more rapturous applause for a splendid evening had by all. After the show she again made time to meet and greet her paying audience. The merchandise stall even sold out of her album tonight and somehow the giant maypole was transported away in a taxi. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it for myself.
Thank you to the photographer whose pictures I’ve used here. I was just too busy being totally engrossed in the performance.