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guest blogger Clare Tucker from 1-2-hear went along to Little Noise Sessions, a week-long indoor acoustic festival in thel intimate venue of Islington Union Chapel. Curated by Radio 1 dj Jo Whiley, looking very glamorous in a LBD.

With the pews full and alter lit up there was an air of relaxed suspense as London based duo Summer Camp opened the night. We caught Summer Camp at Bestival but this was a completely different experience to their usual lo-fi electronica, as they play a stripped back acoustic set which was polished, sweet and endearing. The stand out track was the recognisable single released this year on Moshi Moshi “Ghost Train” which created some head nods and foot tapping, a perfect start to the evening.

Next up was Saint Saviour who until very recently was known mainly as Groove Armada’s incumbent front girl, but her electric performance of haunting new-gospel ballads and country soul tracks saw her come into her own right. Along with the relevance of her name she was a perfect choice for the evening, excelling in the chapel settings with her vocals backed by a strings section. She put a spell over the audience captivating everybody with her hypnotic dance movements and an air of mystery. Her last song “When You Smile” stole the show.

Claire Maguire was the only artist who we weren’t familiar with, after a nervous start she belted out a string of pop songs including “Aint Nobody”. The strength of her voice is apparent; she had a dark goth like appearance, but we’re not sure if she has the songs to back it up. Her backing band were smartly suited and booted and a big sound resonated around the chapel.

Manchester based duo Hurts headlined, but unfortunately they were one man down as keyboard played Adam had injured his back carrying a piano. In his place was Annie Lennox’s 17 year old model daughter, androgynously dressed who poe faced pulled petals from a bunch of white roses throughout the entire set, just brilliant! Lead singer Theo carried on regardless doing a fine job, with great humour, rapport with the audience and looking mighty fine. Hurts pull off this smart 80s look with a well-tailored suit, white scarf, 2 earring hoops and slicked back hair. It’s 80s pop and it works, for some reason we thought they might be cheesy but it’s almost like they have brought the eighties up to the noughties with a classic stylised pop twist. We are certainly fans now. “Wonderful Life” stood out with very relevant lyrics to the Mencap charity “Don’t let go, never give up, it’s such a wonderful life”

We for one will be attending next year’s Little Noise Sessions, it showed us what amazing UK musical talent we have. The after party had a great vibe to it, with the artists also attending, but this may have had something to do with the free bar…it always helps!