Live Review

Deptford Goth, Union Chapel, London

Take a pew: Deptford Goth melts candles and hearts in north London.

For one so sonically introverted, there’s an odd positivity and friendly intimacy to tonight’s performance by Daniel Woolhouse, as he treads the famous boards of Islington’s Union Chapel for the first time. ‘I belong with everyone, everyone I’ve ever known is here, With me,’ he croons meltingly to an audience that positively beams back on standout track ‘Union’, flanked by a string section whose purring cello could melt the sternest of hearts.

Whereas on record, Woolhouse’s cold ambient synth pop is emotional swaddling, designed to keep its composer isolated; live it envelops the audience too, beckoning them in. True, he’s helped by a truly stunning setting, all flickering candlelight and stone buttressing but still, tonight’s performance oozes charm.

Live, the track ‘Life after Defo’ has its percussive pummel slightly muted by the grandeur of the setting, but tonight it trades its muscle for a luscious ebb and flow; like a loved-up Massive Attack settled down on the sofa with a cup and a biscuit.

For some, the anticipated release of debut album ‘Life after Defo’ might have been a slight disappointment but Woolhouse proves tonight that his strengths lie in live performance. Songs that on record plateau along positively soar, particularly those which are bolstered by the trump card of the fifteen-piece Roundhouse Experimental Choir, under whose charge ‘Feel Real’ is transformed into a slithering and writhing monster, seductive and intoxicating. 

Instrumentally, Deptford Goth is impressive enough but it’s Woolhouse’s wonderful set of pipes that are really jaw-dropping. His voice hits its height during the encore, weaving perfectly around the spooky sounds of the backing choir. It makes for a truly meditative experience, totally at home with the venue.

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