Bristol’s The Gallimaufry is not a common venue for touring musicians but it was the perfect setting for Ireland’s atmosfolk duo Saint Sister. With origami hanging from the ceiling and animals painted on the walls, this pub is situated in the quirky side of Bristol where the creatives live and breathe their art. Despite it not being the best venue for sound quality and use of equipment, it definitely has character, and musicians who are talented enough can pull through the basic venue’s capability to put on an impressive show.
Saint Sister’s support act, 4th Project, are Bristol locals and drew in a reasonable crowd for their set. While the band had an attractive sound, their set blurred into one long song for my ears and I found them quite forgettable. Put it this way, I doubt I’ll ever listen to them again. Not because they are terrible – far from it – but because they didn’t have that spark to make me connect to their music.
After a short interval, it was soon time for the main performers. Kicking off with one of my favourites, Versions Of Hate, which was not played at their last Bristol show, Saint Sister captured their audience right from the beginning. It’s a wonderful experience to observe a crowded room fall to silence to hear two beautiful Irish musicians sing of love, hate and everything in between.
Neatly mixed in with tracks from their EP Madrid were some new songs from the band including Half Awake, Corpses and Mother Of The Chapel. The raw Mother Of The Chapel was sung into near silence, making everyone in the room completely aware of Morgan and Gemma’s stunning voices while Corpses was lyrically gorgeous, dripping with gothic metaphors and supported by Gemma’s harp in such a fitting way.
However, the true highlight of the night came when the pair announced their newest single, due for release this November, to be their track Tin Man. It’s one of their most emotive and moving songs as a band and, from what the pair have said, is set to be released with a distinctly unique and exciting music video.
Rounding off the night, Saint Sister finished their set with two of their most popular tracks – Blood Moon and Madrid. Around me, listeners had their phones out, not to check social media or text their friends, but to star Saint Sister’s EP on Spotify.
All in all, hearing Saint Sister perform their tracks live has solidified them for me as one of my favourite bands. Their strength as song-writers, singers, musicians and performers is truly amazing and I cannot wait to see what they come up with next.