Review Sofia Lafuente and Marie Naffah St Pancras Old Church
15:25 26 April 2022
Marie Naffah had a busier 2021 than most singers – traveling across the country (mostly on varying train quality) to play 50 gigs in 50 days.
She’s anything but out of practice, but Friday’s one-off performance at Old St Pancras Church seemed more important to the young north Londoner.
Dressed in purple and backed by a six-piece band, Marie transcended energy through a lively set of her best work yet – her big, soulful voice reverberating through the intimate setting. Fans were treated to songs from a thoughtful new EP due out next month, which was partly inspired by his 50-day marathon with a song dedicated to Great Western Railway.
There was also room for older, funkier numbers and his cover of Elton John’s Bennie and the Jets – which became a setlist staple. Old St Pancras Church is one of England’s oldest places of worship, but Marie’s enthusiastic fanbase quickly made the setting as welcoming as the homes she had played in on the tour. You could almost forget the gig was in a church, at least until the bells rang an agonizing dozen times – which, to their credit, didn’t put off the performers.
There was a bit of confusion sometimes between the musicians, perhaps to be expected for a first performance. But there was nothing to dampen the mood – especially with stage banter from Marie in full form, with the singer at one point thanking the audience for canceling Earth Day plans!
Sofia Lafuente was a more than worthy opening act, performing an acoustic set also largely derived from an incoming EP. Mixing Spanish and English lyrics, the LA native was particularly keen on performing the latest track Religion as part of the church – although the song is about feelings in a relationship rather than gender. anthem that regulars at St Pancras might be more accustomed to. With another of her songs having recently featured during a breakup scene on Love Island – Sofia has now witnessed both ends of the spectrum of UK cultural offerings and is well placed to make her mark on these shores.