Amelia’s Magazine | Saint Saviour: an interview with Becky Jones

saintsaviour genie espinosa
Saint Saviour by Genie Espinosa.

Fresh from touring with Groove Armada, sale with whom she collaborated on the album Black Light, treat Saint Saviour played her debut solo show at Bush Hall, in deepest Shepherds Bush. It must have been a bit bewildering, a week since playing at Brixton Academy after a run of shows that earned her rave reviews and numerous admirers (including the Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant) to be appearing in a renovated dance hall on the Uxbridge Road, but the intimate setting was perfect to showcase her new material.

Saint saviour
Photo courtesy of Saint Saviour.

Saint Saviour is no stranger to the pages of Amelia’s Magazine, having been reviewed a couple of times (including once by yours truly) with her old band, the ever-spangly RGBs (who were once described by the NME, no less, as delivering “almighty fem-pop… with an eccentric blitzkrieg wallop”). I’d seen them a few times around town, and I’d also caught her debut with Groove Armada at the climax of last year’s Lovebox festival. It’s actually one of those rare times, if you endlessly follow bands around gigs, where someone you’ve seen play often is plucked from little venues in Kilburn, Brixton or Shoreditch to tour the world.

Taking to the stage with what looked like a giant jellyfish umbrella (“make of that what you will” quipped Saint Saviour, aka Becky Jones), the set started off hypnotically – anyone expecting a set of pumping dance anthems was in for a bit of a shock. In fact, Saint Saviour’s set proved what a versatile performer she is, mixing up her styles and tempos – whether accompanying herself on keyboards on songs like the delicate Fallen Trees and Hurricanes, or upping a gear (backed with a full band and, for a couple of numbers, a string section) with tracks like Birdsong and the kick-ass current single, Woman Scorned: watch the video here:

YouTube Preview Image

The stage presence that I’d seen in places like the Windmill or the Old Blue Last, and witnessed by anyone who saw her on tour with Groove Armada, was there in spades tonight, whether entrancing a hushed crowd on the slower numbers with her voice (which has been compared to people like Kate Bush, and I think has a touch of Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins about it) or totally throwing herself into the up-tempo songs.

Saint Saviour by Karolina Burdon
Saint Saviour by Karolina Burdon.

To thunderous cheers from the crowd, Saint Saviour was tempted back out for an encore of the touching When You Smile, backed solely by harpist Jharda, before leaving once more to the rapturous applause of an appreciative audience. As a debut show, stepping out of the shadow of Groove Armada, it was great success for Saint Saviour and justifies the praise that she’d already received. It was also a bit of a strange moment for me, having seen her back in the day with her old band, and here she is (deservedly so) on the verge of playing bigger stages as a star in her own right.

Catch my interview with Saint Saviour, coming soon.
saintsaviour genie espinosa
Saint Saviour by Genie Espinosa.

Fresh from touring with Groove Armada, cheapest with whom she collaborated on the album Black Light, illness Saint Saviour played her debut solo show at Bush Hall, in deepest Shepherds Bush. It must have been a bit bewildering, a week since playing at Brixton Academy after a run of shows that earned her rave reviews and numerous admirers (including the Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant) to be appearing in a renovated dance hall on the Uxbridge Road, but the intimate setting was perfect to showcase her new material.


Photo courtesy of Saint Saviour.

Saint Saviour is no stranger to the pages of Amelia’s Magazine, having been reviewed a couple of times (including once by yours truly) with her old band, the ever-spangly RGBs (who were once described by the NME, no less, as delivering “almighty fem-pop… with an eccentric blitzkrieg wallop”). I’d seen them a few times around town, and I’d also caught her debut with Groove Armada at the climax of last year’s Lovebox festival. It’s actually one of those rare times, if you endlessly follow bands around gigs, where someone you’ve seen play often is plucked from little venues in Kilburn, Brixton or Shoreditch to tour the world.

Taking to the stage with what looked like a giant jellyfish umbrella (“make of that what you will” quipped Saint Saviour, aka Becky Jones), the set started off hypnotically – anyone expecting a set of pumping dance anthems was in for a bit of a shock. In fact, Saint Saviour’s set proved what a versatile performer she is, mixing up her styles and tempos – whether accompanying herself on keyboards on songs like the delicate Fallen Trees and Hurricanes, or upping a gear (backed with a full band and, for a couple of numbers, a string section) with tracks like Birdsong and the kick-ass current single, Woman Scorned: watch the video here:

YouTube Preview Image

The stage presence that I’d seen in places like the Windmill or the Old Blue Last, and witnessed by anyone who saw her on tour with Groove Armada, was there in spades tonight, whether entrancing a hushed crowd on the slower numbers with her voice (which has been compared to people like Kate Bush, and I think has a touch of Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins about it) or totally throwing herself into the up-tempo songs.

Saint Saviour by Karolina Burdon
Saint Saviour by Karolina Burdon.

To thunderous cheers from the crowd, Saint Saviour was tempted back out for an encore of the touching When You Smile, backed solely by harpist Jharda, before leaving once more to the rapturous applause of an appreciative audience. As a debut show, stepping out of the shadow of Groove Armada, it was great success for Saint Saviour and justifies the praise that she’d already received. It was also a bit of a strange moment for me, having seen her back in the day with her old band, and here she is (deservedly so) on the verge of playing bigger stages as a star in her own right.

Catch my interview with Saint Saviour, coming soon.
saintsaviour genie espinosa
Saint Saviour by Genie Espinosa.

Fresh from touring with Groove Armada, viagra 100mg with whom she collaborated on the album Black Light, viagra Saint Saviour played her debut solo show at Bush Hall, in deepest Shepherds Bush. It must have been a bit bewildering, a week since playing at Brixton Academy after a run of shows that earned her rave reviews and numerous admirers (including the Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant) to be appearing in a renovated dance hall on the Uxbridge Road, but the intimate setting was perfect to showcase her new material.


Photo courtesy of Saint Saviour.

Saint Saviour is no stranger to the pages of Amelia’s Magazine, having been reviewed a couple of times (including once by yours truly) with her old band, the ever-spangly RGBs (who were once described by the NME, no less, as delivering “almighty fem-pop… with an eccentric blitzkrieg wallop”). I’d seen them a few times around town, and I’d also caught her debut with Groove Armada at the climax of last year’s Lovebox festival. It’s actually one of those rare times, if you endlessly follow bands around gigs, where someone you’ve seen play often is plucked from little venues in Kilburn, Brixton or Shoreditch to tour the world.

Taking to the stage with what looked like a giant jellyfish umbrella (“make of that what you will” quipped Saint Saviour, aka Becky Jones), the set started off hypnotically – anyone expecting a set of pumping dance anthems was in for a bit of a shock. In fact, Saint Saviour’s set proved what a versatile performer she is, mixing up her styles and tempos – whether accompanying herself on keyboards on songs like the delicate Fallen Trees and Hurricanes, or upping a gear (backed with a full band and, for a couple of numbers, a string section) with tracks like Birdsong and the kick-ass current single, Woman Scorned: watch the video here:

YouTube Preview Image

The stage presence that I’d seen in places like the Windmill or the Old Blue Last, and witnessed by anyone who saw her on tour with Groove Armada, was there in spades tonight, whether entrancing a hushed crowd on the slower numbers with her voice (which has been compared to people like Kate Bush, and I think has a touch of Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins about it) or totally throwing herself into the up-tempo songs.

Saint Saviour by Karolina Burdon
Saint Saviour by Karolina Burdon.

To thunderous cheers from the crowd, Saint Saviour was tempted back out for an encore of the touching When You Smile, backed solely by harpist Jharda, before leaving once more to the rapturous applause of an appreciative audience. As a debut show, stepping out of the shadow of Groove Armada, it was great success for Saint Saviour and justifies the praise that she’d already received. It was also a bit of a strange moment for me, having seen her back in the day with her old band, and here she is (deservedly so) on the verge of playing bigger stages as a star in her own right.

Catch my interview with Saint Saviour, coming soon.
saint saviour-stephanie thieullent
Saint Saviour by Stephanie Thieullent.

Shortly after her debut solo show at Bush Hall (read my review here) I caught up with Saint Saviour to pose a few questions…

How did it feel to play your first solo show? You seemed pretty overwhelmed by it!
God, discount did I look really nervous!? I was very nervous indeed. I have toured the world and played to thousands of people, view but singing your own stuff in an intimate setting is very nerve-wracking and I had also just got off tour with Groove Armada so I was and still am pretty exhausted. But it all went reasonably to plan and I got a lot of great feedback from real fans, search which meant the world to me.

saint saviour by daria hlazatova
Saint Saviour by Daria Hlazatova.

After working with Groove Armada, both in the studio and on tour, how has the experience influenced you? Have they given you any good tips?
They taught me a lot about production, and how to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to arranging a tune. I also learned a lot about live show production and how much work goes into it. I got the chance to tour a lot of the world and see how the industry works in other countries and how different people react to the music. I feel a lot worldlier! The best tip they gave me was that the less sleep you get, the less you need.

Saint Saviour by Karina Yarv
Saint Saviour by Karina Yarv.

Songs such as Fallen Trees and Woman Scorned show a few different styles. Who, or what, would you say influences your music?
I have been seriously into music since I was a kid, so I have really diverse tastes and an inquisitive drive to discover more ways of making music. To be honest though, I find this actually quite restricting because when it comes to making my own album, I’ve gone from dark electro to Southern Soul music, Stax Records style, reggae to country folk. It’s a nightmare for A&R situations but I guess it means I can write for other people too and maybe one day, actually make a living.

You’ve got quite distinctive vocals, which I’ve seen compared to the likes of Antony Hegarty. Does it take a lot of practice to get that effect?
Yeah, I practice a lot.

SaintSaviour by Jessica Gurr
SaintSaviour by Jessica Gurr.

You seem to pick up some rather striking outfits for your stage shows and videos. Where do you get the inspiration from, or do you just leave your designers to it?
It may sound a little but ‘special’ but when I listen to music I have very vivid pictures in my mind the whole time and I get a lot of ideas for costumes from this practice. The Jellyfish thing I wore for my first gig was inspired directly by listening to the song I came out to, which just makes me think of them swimming around. I got my friend Paula Selby Avellaneda to make it for me from my imagination, and she made the dress to go with it.

What’s coming up next for Saint Saviour?
Hmmmm. Well there’s a lot of possibly exciting things rumbling beneath me, but I can’t really confirm any of them. I’m doing some exciting collaborations and hoping a couple of nice gigs come off. Watch this space!

Categories ,Antony Hegarty, ,Becky Jones, ,Bush Hall, ,country folk, ,Daria H, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,electro, ,Groove Armada, ,interview, ,Jess Gurr, ,Jessica Gurr, ,Karina Yarv, ,Paula Selby Avellaneda, ,reggae, ,Saint Saviour, ,SaintSaviour, ,Southern Soul, ,Stéphanie Thieullent

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Amelia’s Magazine | Saint Saviour at Bush Hall: Live Review

saintsaviour genie espinosa
saintsaviour genie espinosa
Saint Saviour by Genie Espinosa.

Fresh from touring with Groove Armada, treat with whom she collaborated on the album Black Light, viagra order Saint Saviour played her debut solo show at Bush Hall, in deepest Shepherds Bush. It must have been a bit bewildering, a week since playing at Brixton Academy after a run of shows that earned her rave reviews and numerous admirers (including the Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant) to be appearing in a renovated dance hall on the Uxbridge Road, but the intimate setting was perfect to showcase her new material.


Photo courtesy of Saint Saviour.

Saint Saviour is no stranger to the pages of Amelia’s Magazine, having been reviewed a couple of times (including once by yours truly) with her old band, the ever-spangly RGBs (who were once described by the NME, no less, as delivering “almighty fem-pop… with an eccentric blitzkrieg wallop”). I’d seen them a few times around town, and I’d also caught her debut with Groove Armada at the climax of last year’s Lovebox festival. It’s actually one of those rare times, if you endlessly follow bands around gigs, where someone you’ve seen play often is plucked from little venues in Kilburn, Brixton or Shoreditch to tour the world.

Taking to the stage with what looked like a giant jellyfish umbrella (“make of that what you will” quipped Saint Saviour, aka Becky Jones), the set started off hypnotically – anyone expecting a set of pumping dance anthems was in for a bit of a shock. In fact, Saint Saviour’s set proved what a versatile performer she is, mixing up her styles and tempos – whether accompanying herself on keyboards on songs like the delicate Fallen Trees and Hurricanes, or upping a gear (backed with a full band and, for a couple of numbers, a string section) with tracks like Birdsong and the kick-ass current single, Woman Scorned: watch the video here:

YouTube Preview Image

The stage presence that I’d seen in places like the Windmill or the Old Blue Last, and witnessed by anyone who saw her on tour with Groove Armada, was there in spades tonight, whether entrancing a hushed crowd on the slower numbers with her voice (which has been compared to people like Kate Bush, and I think has a touch of Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins about it) or totally throwing herself into the up-tempo songs.

Saint Saviour by Karolina Burdon
Saint Saviour by Karolina Burdon.

To thunderous cheers from the crowd, Saint Saviour was tempted back out for an encore of the touching When You Smile, backed solely by harpist Jharda, before leaving once more to the rapturous applause of an appreciative audience. As a debut show, stepping out of the shadow of Groove Armada, it was great success for Saint Saviour and justifies the praise that she’d already received. It was also a bit of a strange moment for me, having seen her back in the day with her old band, and here she is (deservedly so) on the verge of playing bigger stages as a star in her own right.

Catch my post-gig interview with Saint Saviour here.

Categories ,Brixton Academy, ,Bush Hall, ,Cocteau Twins, ,Elizabeth Fraser, ,Genie Espinosa, ,Groove Armada, ,Jharda, ,Karolina Burdon, ,Kate Bush, ,Lovebox, ,Neil Tennant, ,NME, ,Old Blue Last, ,pet shop boys, ,RGBs, ,Saint Saviour, ,SaintSaviour, ,Windmill, ,Woman Scorned

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Amelia’s Magazine | Festival Preview: The Great Escape

The Great Escape Festival is like a British version of SXSW. It’s the one festival where you’re guaranteed to stumble across the next big thing, see catch some already big bands in relatively small venues and generally have a good time.

I went to the first ever Great Escape when I was 18 and immediately fell in love with the block party idea of venue hopping with one wristband. The festival has grown since those days, and now you’ll need a plan of attack if you want to make the most of TGE. It’s less easy to venue hop these days, simply because it’s become that much more popular, but with a little planning and pre-thought you can still see the acts you want to.

The great thing about festivals of this nature is that there’s no main stage – you don’t have to sit through a set if you don’t like the band that’s on. You can head to the next venue and see what else is happening. TGE is at its best when you take a chance on a band you’ve not heard before. The first time I saw Friendly Fires was at the 2008 Great Escape.

The line-up this year is probably the best so far. Groove Armada, Chase and Status, Broken Social Scene, Delphic, Wild Beasts, Angus & Julia Stone and These New Puritans are at the top of the bill. There’s also plenty of up-and-coming acts that will be playing too, including Is Tropical, Everything Everything, Frankie & the Heartstrings, Chew Lips and White Rabbits.

Whichever venue you choose to check out, there’s someone pretty exciting playing each day. That leads to plenty of clashes that are sure to divide the festival-going masses.

TGE is an industry event too; a delegate’s pass lets you push to the front of the queue for venues, and you get access to the interesting seminars that run throughout the day. There’s a long list of speakers, ranging from people who work at record labels to music journalists, PRs and other media insiders. At £150 a delegate’s pass is still cheaper than the majority of British festivals, but a massive hike up on the £55 standard venue-only pass.

This year there is a bigger range of TGE tickets available than ever before: you can buy individual day tickets; a ticket for Friday and Saturday; a priority pass which lets you skip the queues or a single gig entry ticket.

I’ll be heading down next week for the launch party on Wednesday and running around Brighton for the full three days making sure I can report back to the Amelia’s site with a strong list of bands who wowed at this year’s TGE, and some tips for the bands to watch over the next few months.

Categories ,Angus & Julia Stone, ,broken social scene, ,Chase and Status, ,Chew Lips, ,delphic, ,everything everything, ,festival, ,Frankie & the Heartstrings, ,Groove Armada, ,Is Tropical, ,sxsw, ,The Great Escape Festival, ,These New Puritans, ,White Rabbits, ,Wild Beasts

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