Luke Sital-Singh, Eliza and the Bear, Farewell J.R, Annie Eves: Leaf Cafe, Liverpool

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Luke Sital-Singh heads up the Communion tour at Leaf, Getintothis’ Sean Bradbury reports on a collective of new faces with a healthy future.


The inaugural Communion New Faces Tour rolled into town and left a bristling Leaf venue thoroughly warmed on a cold spring night after an eclectic evening from the four acts on show.
First up were Farewell J.R who belied their place on the bill with an instantly arresting, beautiful potency.
If Fleet Foxes‘ frontier harmonies whipped through a frozen dustbowl on top of glacial, immersive Band of Horses style walls of sound – with the occasional pause for a tender, honey-dripped acoustic reflection by way of Bombay Bicycle Club – this would be the result.
Destined for great things and with a spot on attitude to boot; the band spent the rest of the gig right down the front chatting to the crowd and taking in the other performers.
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Farewell J.R live at Leaf Cafe, Liverpool
A tough half hour to follow, but Annie Eves gave it a good go. At her best there was a gently countrified Cat Power vibe, with intense finger-picking and lyrics that came subtle, sullen and drenched with a weary wisdom.
Just when her tunes were in danger of veering towards the mundane, they were rescued by blistering slide guitar lines from her right hand man. Another one to keep an eye on.
annie eve leaf
Annie Eves live at Leaf Cafe, Liverpool
Eliza and the Bear were next, upping the ante and energy levels and willing the audience closer to the stage.
They are a group you can’t help but root for, with an Andrew WK ‘party hard’ spirit supercharging what otherwise might be sub-Mumford & Sons strumalongs.
But there is no denying Friends and It Gets Cold are winners – big tunes with plenty of heart, earnest vocals and an irresistibly tight instrumental drive.
eliza and the bear leaf
Eliza and the Bear live at Leaf Cafe, Liverpool
Luke Sital-Singh was last on tonight and it was easy to hear why. His first tune saw him loosen up by really letting loose, ripping shards of raw guitar and hurling them out with impassioned vocals to match.
What followed was something of a retreat to safety with moments where the bar was raised – Nothing Stays The Same for example, with its refrain ripe for echoing around arenas and over big muddy fields.
Luke Sital-Singh Leaf
Luke Sital-Singh live at Leaf Cafe, Liverpool
While Sital-Singh’s is a very different sound, there is a similar effect to listening to Michael Kiwanuka; the lines of restraint, of controlled delivery and measured songcraft, blur with those of something more bland and blunted.
Crucially though all the ingredients are there for more interesting offerings in the future and he is blessed with a voice that boasts true depth and breadth.
Pictures by Getintothis‘ Tom Adam
Further reading on Getintothis:

Luke Sital-Singh picked by Getintothis‘ Singles Club
Getintothis‘ gig review of Eliza & The Bear at the Shipping Forecast,
Mellowtone cook up series of intimate gems including I Am Kloots John Bramwell.
Parquet Courts set for Liverpool summer outing at Kazimier.
Brian Jonestown Massacre to decamp in East Village Arts Club.
Andrew WK to party hard in Liverpool’s East Village Arts Club.
Getintothis guestlist selections 2013 part one
Getintothis‘ Top 100 Albums of 2013: A Year In Review

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