I had been looking forward to this show for months, and Sarah Nixey did not disappoint me.

Prior to the gig, I spent a few hours with her, talking to the former Black Box Recorder singer about her beautiful debut solo album 'Sing, Memory', which has just been released on Service AV. After that we retired to eat in the restaurant downstairs, where myself and her piano player Mark Lodge had a Thai curry that was so hot that it blew our heads off and which Sarah was kind enough to pay for. Thank you, Sarah.

After the interview, I watched as the sound engineer took ages to get the sound right, but it was perfect for the actual gig where everybody's eyes were on Sarah and her two piece band which as well as Mark featured Infantjoy and former Auteur member James Banbury on cello.

Dressed in a lovely dress and a chunky belt, Sarah welcomed everyone to come closer to the stage at this, her first headline show in London. She had only previously played solo a secret support slot at Islington Carling Academy supporting her former Black Box Recorder mate Luke Haines whom was playing an Auteurs show.

Tonight's show was performed acoustic whereas her next show will be played in a more electronic fashion. More stripped down than on the album, the set showed how delicate and beautiful these songs are. All about failed love affairs and coming to your senses having been in love, they made a perfect early St Valentine's Day gift.

The 7 song set was short but perfectly played. As well as the keyboards and cello, it also featured a drum machine on an iPod for a track which I feel could be a huge single, 'Endless Circles'.

The band also beautifully played a cover which to my ears sounded better than the original but it was neither of the two on her album, but instead of Japan's 'Ghosts'. 'Ghosts' also appears on 'Where the Night Goes', the debut album of Infantjoy which as well as James Banbury also has in its line-up old-time music critic and one of the guys behind Frankie goes to Hollywood's success, Paul Morley.

Lasting 28 minutes this set was more than perfect. It was a brilliant night, and one Sarah should be proud of.

Set List :

When I'm Here with You
The Collector
Love and Exile
Endless Circles

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Commenting On: Luminaire, 13/2/2007 - Sarah Nixey

ie London, England

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