Live Review: Julien Baker - Union Chapel, London 10/11/2017
We witnessed something amazingly beautiful when Julien Baker stopped by London's stunning venue, Union Chapel, as part of her UK tour last Friday.
The light dimmed just before Julien Baker takes to the stage, this venue fits her exactly, and to be honest I can't imagine anywhere else I would love to experience her music in. This beautiful church creates such an amazing atmosphere for her show, and you can feel it in the room. She opens her set with 'Appointments', and you can feel the permanent grins appearing on everyone's faces as Julien starts singing.
'Turn Out The Lights' travels around the room as the song builds, getting louder and louder as it goes on. It feels like a full blown church choir is singing it, but instead it is coming from this tiny humble creature on stage. Julien Baker interacts with the crowd in such a polite way, explaining to us that she is grateful for things she has in life and the experiences she is getting from her music, thanking her audience for that.
Her album came out at the end of October, and it could of been easy for her to play that in full, because it is an amazing record. However she mixes old and new tonight, the songs that made us fall in love with her in the first place. 'Sprained Ankle' and 'Something' featured on the set list and are greeted with huge applause from the audience.
I first stumbled across Julien Baker in a strange way, after seeing the lead singer of Sorority Noise wearing a t-shirt with her name on it, while they played the Old Blue Last a couple of years ago. I just remember it being bright pink and wondering who the hell Julien Baker was. So obviously I had to look her up, and every since I have absolutely adored her. Her music speaks to me on so many levels it is hard to explain. It has got me through dark times when I thought there was no turning back really. I have never witnessed her live though, until this evening. And I felt like a small child, quietly experiencing a great film for the first time in the cinema. It was an experience all by itself.
Encoring with 'Rejoice' from her first release 'Sprained Ankle', you could feel the emotion in the room. From Julien herself and also the audience. It was a perfect end to the evening, and as she finishes the song, the room erupts into a standing ovation which seems to roll on for ages. She definitely deserves it. I have used the word beautiful far too many times for this gig, but it was truly that.
Julien Baker has, and will continue to completely amaze me.
Review by Ant Adams