The Broken Saints: The Hop, Sheffield

The Hop is the venue for the The Broken Saints’ album launch and it’s already pretty full before a chord has been played. Ostensibly an acoustic three-piece, if the stage set up is anything to go by they will be augmented in number tonight.

The first act this evening, Jamie Heawood, is compared to Ben Howard as he’s introduced and there’s more than a passing similarity. Opening with a rendition of a Death Cab For Cutie song, his set contains several cover versions including Amy Winehouse’s ‘I Know I’m Not Good’ and Paulo Nutini’s ‘New Shoes’. However, Jamie’s at this best when performing his own compositions, showcasing not only his abilities as a musician, but as a songwriter as well. He had a good night, with a quick whip-round for a second guitar also proving fruitful.

Next up is the talented vocalist, composer, musician and producer Lauren Faith. Adding a different element to the evening’s proceedings with a mix of jazz, soul and funk, she is ably supported by her tight backing band. Owner of an impressive voice, Lauren’s music branches out into different genres, resembling a mix of Erykah Badu and Brand New Heavies. Along with an impressive array of her own handiwork, she performs a consummate cover of The Spinners’ ‘It’s a Shame’ and lends with a well audience pleasing rendition of Moloko’s ‘Sing it Back’. Her performance lends an air of a smoky barroom to The Hop, her debut single ‘Crazy Sexy Cool’ hinting of exciting things to come in the future.

Bolstered by the addition of a drummer and violinist, The Broken Saints are determined to make this a special evening. Celebrating the release of When the Music Stops, they have a noticeably bigger sound this evening; feeling like one big party. Playing a mix of acoustic rock, folk and blues, they are not afraid to take short strolls outside these boxes. Taking the stage to warm applause, and beginning with ‘Nobody Else’, they play a range of songs from their album along with a few covers and songs not on the record. The band strip back to a three-piece for ‘Dreams Never Die’ and are joined on stage by singer Katy McLaughlin for ‘Open Your Eyes (Take the Time)’. Both songs personify the impressive range of their music.

A cover of Radiohead’s ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out)’ proves to be a firm favourite before ending with a new song ‘Shallow Grave’. Whilst The Broken Saints enjoy a well deserved encore, it’s the final song that leaves the strongest impression; a taster of whats to come and an exciting change of emphasis in their music journey.