This day 3 years ago, The Staves were taking to the stage at Wembley Arena supporting Bon Iver. 3 years later and with Bon Iver producing their latest record, they took to the road and came to Bournemouths’ Old Firestation to play their beautiful music for an excited and packed out venue.
Last time I saw The Staves perform was with Keaton Henson in 2012. Just 3 voices and a guitar creating an atmosphere like I’ve never experienced live before. Now, travelling with a 9 piece band, could they maintain that element of ethereal fragility……well, yes….but maybe at times I hankered for that beautiful simplicity which won me over way back in 2011.
From the moment they took to the stage the audience were captivated. Opening completely accapella with, the audience was hushed, leading effortlessly into ‘Steady’ which brought in the band in with a steady build.
The audience throughout the show were enchanted, showing great appreciation for every song.
Their sound was full and warming. The addition of live horns gave songs such a ‘Winter Trees‘ and ‘Teeth White‘ and brilliant surge, but for me, The Staves are at their best when they are exposed as three voices. Towards the end of their set, we were hypnotised by an impressive performance of looping harmonies. If you thought 3 Staves were a delight, you should hear this if you get the chance.
The shows was their first to Bournemouth, exclaiming how lucky we are to live by the sea. They’re not wrong. With the sea air in our lungs and lullaby vocals of The Staves in our ears, a very fortunate audience were charmed. The Staves continue to grow and show us the power and perfection of their live performance.
All photographs taken by Ed Hill. Please credit © Ed Hill for use.