Lily and Madeleine - The Social, London
After heading to Oxford Circus for the debut UK 'headline' performance for Indianapolis sisters Lily and Madeleine I found out they weren’t actually headlining. Still, it was their first ever time on British soil, and thus their first live show over here - and what a special evening it turned out to be.
The Social is a bar in the heart of London’s tourist trap, only it’s not just a bar: from 9-5 it’s also a central workspace for trendy Londonites to drink coffee and work on their Airbooks and iPads. In the evenings though it’s a contrary place, all knackered wood panels and run down look. More stylish types might call it 'shabby chic'. Seeing the punters sat with their laptops and quietly reading a book in the middle of a tiny beer filled bar is a sight you don’t usually see when gig going.
Once I’d made it downstairs, past the signs urging people to be quiet when the acts are playing, I spotted the main acts Lily and Madeleine and headliner Conner Youngblood wandering around, the two teenage girls looking particularly relaxed. The gig was part of DJ Huw Stephens monthly live music nights at The Social, and he announced the acts on stage with another plea for people to shut up and listen. It worked. I’ve never heard an audience be quite so respectful, which was good as the sound system was also the quietest I’ve experienced, although incredibly clear.
The sisters were hugely impressive. There’s a quiet confidence about them, alone with their piano and guitar. And in this intimate setting they manage to pull off a beautiful set of light Americana, a mix of tracks from their EP The Weight Of The Globe and their forthcoming album, due for release at the end of the month. Their sound is a little one paced at the moment, but as their catalogue expands no doubt they'll dip their toes into different tempos and moods.
There’s an innate part of us - well, some of us! - that wants to sneer at such obviously talented young people, but Lily and Madeleine have a winning feel to their stage presence; they’re humble and appreciative, with great voices and harmonies than will silence the doubters and cynics. Everything you need to know about them was summed up by the tranquil ‘Come To Me’ near the end of their set.
I’ll leave the final word to L&M themselves: “We really appreciate such an attentive audience in a country we’ve never been to before.” Amen, sisters.
Last updated: 26/02/2018 16:57:28