The Union Chapel is a quaint church paying homage to some of the greatest acts and it has never failed to deliver. Especially when it’s modern folk collective Joseph performing.
Natalie casually waves to the audience as she strings up her guitar and Allison stands in the centre, while Meegan goes on the other side. Both of the twins smile shyly at the audience, and as the first breath leaves their mouths we are transported to another world made up of enchanting melodies and beautiful spirituality.
Hundred Ways is the first song of the night and it is fuelled with harmonizing voices and precise guitar play. Joseph’s evocative voices remind you of how skillful and well rehearsed they really are, like a well oiled machine. Accompanied with overwhelming sincerity in every song they play, they seamlessly transition to their next song Canyon. One of their more upbeat numbers, making it an easy clap along song.
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But it is not all happiness and sunshine. Joseph touches on heavy subjects with an ease that is almost robotic. I Don’t Mind is the most emotional and stripped back song of the night. Written and sang by Allison she confesses that this is a song about her own sadness, “It is a song for you before you ever say it to anyone else.” Bright eyes reveal un-shed tears as she sings, ‘I will love you anyway with all your demons in the way. Nothing can keep us apart.’
Somehow in a big crowd Joseph can still make their performances feel so intimate and personal. This is helped by the meaningful lyrics littered all throughout their songs. As the band moves on to their next song Blood & Tears Natalie boldly admits this is a song for her ‘hubby.’ A she unashamedly adds that it is a song about commitment, ‘that thing that makes a relationship really work.‘
Honest and Sweet Dreams lead on perfectly to one of their most well-known songs, White Flag. Meegan causally adds that this is a song saying ‘F you to fear.’ You can’t help and sing along as you imagine your own fears getting smaller and smaller.
Signalling the end of the event Joseph makes their way backstage. But the crowd isn’t satisfied as we shout and stomp our way to the next song selection, Eyes to the Sky. The song sounds like a old hymn and you can’t help but wonder if it was done on purpose to pay homage to a quaint old church in the middle of London.
Unfortunately the swoony melodies and dazzling harmonies are masked on their album I’m Alone, No You Are Not. However, the venue and the band change all that as they combine to provide an evening of atmosphere, captivating lyricism and spellbinding voices.