Review // Bristol Sessions trade in lazy Sundays for a roaring Saturday night at The Lantern

The R&B and soul collective brought their brilliant live show to a heavily grooving audience at Colston Hall's Lantern

Patrons of Gloucester Road’s cosy music hive the Gallimaufry will already be well aware how soul and R&B collective The Bristol Sessions can easily rival the Bloody Mary for the crown of best Sunday hangover cure. For the past couple years, the Sessions have been a staple of the local jazz scene, with regular shows featuring an array of talented Bristol musicians.

soul and R&B collective The Bristol Sessions can easily rival the Bloody Mary for the crown of best Sunday hangover cure

This September, they traded in lazy Sundays for a more hectic Saturday evening in Colston Hall’s Lantern room, it was no surprise that the group – a collection of ten of talented local musicians and songwriters – would transfer so well into the grand surroundings of the Lantern. Led by Ruth Royall, the house band exploded into some tough funk to kick off proceedings.

In the first half, by Royall appointment, the band members took their turn in the spotlight. The result was a conveyer belt of varying styles and tempos, producing six captivating performances with each looking more than comfortable in the imposing surroundings.

The result was a conveyer belt of varying styles and tempos, producing six captivating performances

First up, Louise Victoria Hunt took to the mic with her infectious rendition of Amerie’s One Thing. Holly Wellington then stunned the audience into silence with her ethereal vocals and accomplished piano, while Alun Elliot-Williams showed off his ability as a guitarist. Brook Tate, an accomplished vocalist and songwriter, stepped up from backing vocals to perform two cracking numbers – as did fellow backing singer Ranoah, who had the crowd rocking with some of her self-penned soul ballads. James Paton – a regular Sessions host – rounded off the first half with a performance of tracks from his new EP.

The standard refused to dip throughout all six performances – a real credit to The Bristol Sessions and the incredible levels of talent that lie within their ranks.

The standard refused to dip throughout all six performances – a real credit to The Bristol Sessions and the incredible levels of talent that lie within their ranks

The second half meant Ruth Royall’s turn to take the lead microphone after a quick costume change. Accompanied by the relentless drive of the house band, she powered through a series of breath-taking vocals which took the session to even greater heights, soaring over a heavily grooving audience and right to the back of the Lantern.

Ruth Royall powered through a series of breath-taking vocals which took the session to even greater heights, soaring over a heavily grooving audience

A collective rendition of Norah Jones’ Sunrise rounded off the evening in appropriately euphoric fashion. The camaraderie between the members of the group is delightful to watch and no doubt anybody who was there will be keenly looking out for the next time the Sessions stray from Gloucester Road.

In the meantime, you can check out a performance from Ruth Royall and The Bristol Sessions earlier this year at The Lantern:

Words by Ryan McMurtry

 

Previous Weekly picks: 25 Sept – 1 Oct // Future hip hop, culture clash legend Don Letts, plus the full spectrum of rock
Next Review // Bristol's all female label Saffron Records celebrate their 2nd birthday with China Bowls, Kudu Blue & more

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *