Smoke Fairies played at Lancaster Library on Saturday 22nd January 2011, ably supported by Sea of Bees and played the best gig I have seen at Lancaster Library. Smoke Fairies began with Summer Fades, a perfect start to the album and the ideal start to a gig. Jess and Kaf appeared very happy to be playing to a sell out crowd and I felt this came across in their music and the enjoyment of their chat between songs with the crowd. What stuck me was their apparently effortless singing, such rich deep ethereal voices balanced with again apparently effortless guitar playing. The backing band provided depth to the songs and played as if one.
Jess and Kaf dedicated Living with Ghosts to a girl in a fairy dress, before realising that it may be a bit dark. One of the great things about the library gigs is that they are all ages, and what an education to blues folk is Living with Ghosts, Kaf’s slide playing was great. They also played Gastown without the band and I saw it in a new light, raw and powerful. Jess joked after Living with Ghosts that the next song would be lighter, Kaf replied a simple no. Jess and Kaf song’s have an intensity about them, the lyrics, the sound mean a lot to them and this comes across with an almost bewitching power. As my wife, Rachel, said ‘Live you realise how good they are’. The library resonated with their sound, I don’t know it this was due to the sound engineers or me hearing it clearer. As I said in the Sea of Bees review, music excites me and on this night that excitement kicked in like I was hearing music for the first time.
As the crowd shouted for more I saw the violinist jump for joy in the computer section. They returned for a three song encore including a first live playing of their cover of Requim by Killing Joke, the b side to the Strange Moon Rising single. I loved the fuzzy blues rift. They finished with Frozen Heart, though Jess had to call Kaf back as she had thought that was it! It was great to hear a mix of their lp and earlier eps and I hope new fans will explore their atmospheric back catalogue. All in all a beautiful night of music that matters, music that etches it self into your life. I highly recommend that you catch them live.
I really enjoyed the Smoke Fairies at Lancaster Library and had the feeling Katherine and Jessica did too, it was as if their music resonated with a sense of joy, and it turns out they did.
Katherine “The library was one of the most unusual venues of our recent tour, it felt good to fill a place usually associated with quiet contemplation with the sound and energy of a gig. The library setting helped create a pretty intense atmosphere and the audience was silent and attentive throughout. It was a really memorable night.”
Jessica “Apart from the novelty of playing in a library, the best thing about playing the Lancaster Library was the fact that it was an all ages venue. We are always pleased to know that kids like our music and one girl came up to us at end to tell us it was the first gig she had ever been to. It made it a special night for us.The sound in there was special too. I always enjoy a show when I can hear our voices echoing around the room.”
Posted: 25 March 2019