The Pierces, Union Chapel, London

3.00

 

What is it about siblings singing together? Sisters Allison and Catherine Pierce follow in a tradition that includes the Proclaimers, the Everly Brothers and the Unthanks, as singers whose voices blend together with apparent ease thanks (probably) to genetic closeness.

This pair of mid-thirties gals from Birmingham, Alabama seem thoroughly at home at the beautiful Union Chapel, which is still a working church, tonight. “It’s so good to see you in the Lord’s house,” Catherine gushes. “Is this music appropriate for the Lord? All music is, he doesn’t mind.”

Both sisters dress in long, flowing frocks; blonde Catherine in bridal white and brunette Allison in black. The product of hippie parents, their loyalty to old-school country music and americana shines through, but during a set which consisted mostly of material from their new album, You & I, they produce a rockier, more polished sound than of old.

You & I, their fourth studio album, was produced by Coldplay bassist Guy Berryman. The sisters credit Berryman with “saving them from extinction” after a decade of trying, but failing, to make it. Berryman made them his first project as producer, invited them to support Coldplay and helped them to some much-needed commercial success, with You & I peaking at number four in the UK album charts last year.

Starting with a cover of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence”, the singers’ change of direction from traditional folk heartbreak, to a funkier, more produced sound was clear. But luckily their meaty harmonising still cuts a punch, particularly on “Love You More” and the excellent “It Will Not Be Forgotten”.

They played “Sticks and Stones” from Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge. Despite being a mysterious, gypsy beat, story-teller of a track, it is a reminder of why their lovelorn foot-tapping style didn't quite work for a wider audience.  Another low point was a cover of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are”, which started badly with a tambourine beat mix-up, before being disappointingly dirge-like and screechy. But their take on Simon & Garfunkel's “Kathy’s Song” was much more pleasing.

Sisterly rivalry does show itself. Catherine dominates the vocals and the spotlight in her bright white dress. Their spoken voices are so similar it is sometimes hard to tell which one is speaking. Swaying, shaking tambourines and playing acoustic guitar they remain old-fashioned folkies despite Berryman’s influence. Finishing with four encores, including “Boring”, it was unclear which direction they would go in next.

This article features Listen with Spotify

Set list:

1. Enjoy The Silence

2. Love You More

3. Forgotten

4. Drag You Down

5. Kissing You Goodbye

6. Piece Of You

7. Sticks And Stones

8. Samaritan

9. Close My Eyes

10. Come As You Are

11. City On Fire

12. Space And Time

13. We Are Stars

14. You'll Be Mine

15. Glorious

...................................................................

1. Kathys Song

2. Records

3. No Rain

4. Boring

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, seated next to a picture of his missing wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene

Friends 20th anniversary
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham

books
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey

There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits