Those of you who have been to Union Chapel will know what a unique venue it is. I can’t imagine anywhere more appropriate for freak-folksters CocoRosie. The music performed within the Chapel, the stage is worked around the rather grand pulpit and the audience are packed into the pews.
Sisters Sierra and Bianca were joined by a drummer, a pianist and a beat boxer, who took a few moments getting used but eventually blended in as another instrument. The lighting was constantly colourful and haunting images — fairground swings it was a bouncing teddy bear or a clowns face emerging from the background — were projected onto the back of the church. There is certainly something ever so slightly sinister about this pair. Not to say that it distracts from the music, if anything it makes their performance even more theatrical.
The band’s sometimes operatic sound filled the Chapel effortlessly, not in the least intimidated by the majestic setting. At the same time, both vocalists have an air of vulnerability about them. At points the girls were childlike, skipping around the stage and then clapping hands together in to ‘Hopscotch’. The friend I was with described it as ‘fairytale music gone wrong’. The eerie sound of a carousel could be heard between songs, coupled with images of blowing leaves and flickering candles.
This was my first live CocoRosie experience but like many of the audience (some dancing in the pews) I suspect it won’t be my last. As the sisters walked off after the encore — ‘Turn Me On’ — they threw their arms around one another. The girls done good. Words: Hayley Brunton