This concert version of the Youtube series celebrates the power of music in a soulful and understated way.
At just forty minutes long, there is no denying that this is a very concise concert – but that is not to say that it isn’t immensely enjoyable to watch as it is filled with gorgeous harmonies and feels like a celebration of the power of music.
What makes this concept so refreshing is the way in which it allows the performers to explore songs that have meaning to them in a new way. One such example is Grace Mouat’s beautiful rendition of ‘Happy Together/My Funny Valentine’ – which if you have heard the originals it should mean that they don’t work together, yet thanks to Alex Beetschen and Harrison Wilde’s orchestrations they work in perfect harmony. The jazz style enhances the romance of the lyrics very nicely.
But it is also the way in which each performer between each song talks about the role that music has played in their lives and how they consider it to be a release and a way to express themselves that some admit having trouble with. It is completely relatable and makes you wonder about the influence of music on our own lives. Each performance is respectful of the song, while conveying a lot of warmth in a lovely way. This is highlighted through performances including Danielle Fiamanya and Jake Halsey-Jones who deliver a sophisticated version of Luther Vandross’s ‘Never Too Much’.
There is certainly no denying that this concert covers a broad range of songs and styles – yet it has a laid back and relaxed vibe about it that makes it easy to engage with. Despite its short running time – it never feels in too much of a hurry and allows the audience to appreciate the high quality performances from all who are involved.
This being said, it does feel in places that it is more of a showcase for performances than a fully fledged concert that could be developed further. But in this short space of time, you are exposed to songs that you may not have heard before including ‘Don’t Make it Harder on Me’ by Chloe X Halle (which I certainly was not familiar with) which felt very authentic and grounded when performed by Eloise Davies and Martha Kirby. It is certainly not short of surprises from start to finish, particularly when listening to songs such as ‘Teach You’ performed with great delicacy and lightness by Grace Mouat and Courtney Stapleton.
Overall, Soft Sessions is a very chilled and enjoyable concert that beautifully celebrates the different impact that music has on different people.
By Emma Clarendon
Soft Sessions is available to watch via Stream.Theatre until the 2nd May.