27th October | Exchange
It was a Sunday Service at Exchange, with Londoners, Babeheaven taking the stage, casting a spell of dreamy hymns and enchanting vocals which transported our being to another dimension. Their latest release, Suspended Animation has been on repeat in my flat for the days leading up to the gig, slowly converting my housemates to The Church of Babeheaven.
Support act, Jovial, was a pretty DIY get-up with only keys and guitar present. Jovial serenaded the sparse crowd with jangly guitar licks which complimented her soft and raspy vocals. At times, the keys were a little disjointed from the overall sound, not quite blending together and more of a distraction. Having listened to her recordings online, they’re filled with rich percussion sections and crisp vocals. There’s loads of potential for her live performances to grow in line with her recordings.
After a short wait, we were ready for the Biblical experience. The band began to create an atmosphere and the metallic sound of a slide echoed and reverberated throughout the room. Frontwoman Nancy then took to stage with a thunderous applause, decked in a nightie and a cardi, she resembled a Renaissance lady, ready to sit for her portrait to be painted. Topping the look was a massive red halo, which kept her hairdo in place. “It’s Sunday and I’ll be at home later in bed in this same nightie,” she jokingly said.
Babeheaven kicked things off with some of their older material, such as ‘Friday Sky’. The guitars were lush and full, probably the crispest sound you’d have heard at a gig for a long time. Although most of their songs require woozy synth sounds and pre-installed goodies on a drum pad, this didn’t taint the overall feel. It was all-encompassing and made for one hell of an atmosphere. Nancy’s vocal runs were evocative, goosebump-inducing and drenched in R&B. The band oozed a sense of down-to-earth coolness.
To the left of the stage was a chair, with the words ‘RESERVED’ printed on the back of it. Punters packed around it and the chair ominously remained there for the remainder of the gig. “I’ve got this sad chair here. I thought my grandmother was coming from Cardiff,” Nancy said, which got us all giggling. The chair remained empty for the rest of the show.
Babeheaven delivered a pristine-sounding gig. They coolly walked off stage and did no encore. They created an intricate space which the audience relished. Give their latest release a spin: it’s delightful.
See the video for ‘Jalisco’ here: