Rain doesn't stop play as The Staves brave special gig on Roseland beach
The Hidden Hut, Porthcurnick
Review by Lee Trewhela
THERE was a palpable sense of event about this low-key gig by middle England’s harmonious sister trio.
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Promoted by Nokia as part of its Lumia Live Sessions, filmed by über-cool French music site La Blogotheque and held at every inner city broadsheet reader’s favourite eatery by the sea ... what more could you want on a sunny Sunday evening?
The Hidden Hut hosted one of its regular banquet evenings for music fans who’d entered an online lottery for tickets.
A Michelin-starred chef had also turned up to celebrate his birthday not knowing that one of the UK’s hottest music acts of the past couple of years were about to play an unplugged set on the beach below.
Following on from their appearance in Mumford & Sons’ closing set at Glastonbury this summer, Emily, Jessica and Camilla Staveley-Taylor set themselves down on a pile of logs next to a roaring fire with just a ukulele, acoustic guitar and an audience of 150 for company.
It was a lovely, intimate experience aided by the girls’ haunting and whimsical folk-pop update; halfway between Fleetwood Mac and Sandy Denny.
As they proceeded to play songs from last year’s Dead & Born & Grown album, while swigging, poshly, from a bottle of M&S whisky, it was easy to see why they have supported the likes of Bon Iver and The Civil Wars and played on records by everyone from Fionn Regan to Tom Jones.
And then a few bars into their third – and best known – song, Mexico, the band, London media types and the Gallic bloggers received a taste of the real Cornwall.
The heavens opened. Not just a shower but relentless torrential rain. Ponchos were greedily snatched from the organisers as everyone ran for the cover of the hut.
Band and audience battled on, the girls playing behind the café’s counter as we braved the sporadic cascades of water breaking through a gazebo roof.
It was typically British – everyone laughing and joining in the singing in the most dire of conditions.
The gig itself lost momentum but The Staves still shone through the storm, ending with a particularly warming a cappella country song.
It’s not every day you see an internationally renowned band on a Cornish beach while feasting on paella surrounded by French folk in macs. Memorable.