|At St Pancras Old Church on Friday night|
It’s bloody freezing. My legs ache. And I’m heading down a long dark road. Am I about to get stabbed? Well I hope not, ‘cos I’m really keen to check out half-Iranian folk singer-songwriter Sophie Jamieson tonight.
I whizz into the small, echoing space of St Pancras Old Church. Tea lights flicker in the darkness. I think the coast is clear of knife-happy Londoners here. I perch on a creaky wooden chair at the front, perfectly positioned next to the blast of a heating duct. Sophie tunes up and apologises for her trembling nervousness.
Plucking sweetly at her acoustic guitar she begins with ‘Waterloo’, a song she wrote when she started gigging lots in London. “It’s about being lost in a big crowd and not feeling alone”, she later tells me.
Light greyish-beige chords and a navy cardigan wrap around her olive skin. And her trainers have the biggest loops of laces I’ve ever seen. She’s modestly beautiful and the lines on her face really reflect the words falling from her rosy lips. I’m reminded of Daughter as she locks us in a haunting hold with her stunning vocal.
She gives an appreciative smile to electric guitarist Liam Hoflay, who adds atmospheric coating to her lyrically strong songs. Sophie goes on to sooth and sting us with ‘Catch You Cry’, ‘Dinah’ and the “quite new” ‘I don’t’.
|Sophie Jamieson and electric guitarist Liam Hoflay|
After her set I sneak her up some spiral stairs to the organ loft to find out a little more about her:
How did you find your time studying at Cambridge?
It was great. I really loved doing history of art and Cambridge is a great place for music on both the university and local levels. I didn’t actually discover the local music scene until my last term. Cambridge is where I started to get a little bit of confidence back doing music and really start enjoying doing gigs.
What’s your favourite place in London?
For a while it’s been the Southbank. It’s one of the most beautiful parts of London. I am very much drawn to the river, drawn to rivers in general. But I’ve also started to feel a very intense fondness for London since running around it with a guitar for the last year. There’s always a beautiful view from any point of that riverbank. The fairy lights in the trees can make you feel really happy walking along there.
If you could have your portrait done by any artist, living or dead, who would you choose?
Oh man, um… I really like early 20th century art. Maybe it would be a sculpture by Henry Moore ‘cos then it would be really quite abstract and you wouldn’t be able to see any of my features clearly.
Which musician do you fancy..?
At the moment I’m quite infatuated with Matt Corby. He was actually a runner up on Australian Idol but he’s transferred to the underground British music scene. He’s really beautiful but he’s also an incredible musician. He has this one song called ‘Brother’. There are loads of live versions of it on YouTube and in every single one you can see he feels every single word he plays and it’s really sexy.
What’s your future music plan?
At the moment I’m only really letting myself look as far as the E.P. because after that it’s quite hard to know what’s going to happen. Things seem to move quite fast these days. I’ve been lucky enough to get a manager recently and he knows what he’s doing and he’s putting me on the right track. I’m applying to festivals at the moment too.
'Waterloo' - Sophie Jamieson
Sophie Jamieson is signed to Folkroom Records and you can check out when she’s next playing on her Facebook page.
Photography by Sophie Ellis
Friday 11th January 2013
St Pancras Old Church