Review: Lutine – St Laurence Church, Falmer, 27/09
St Laurence church in Falmer village was not only the perfect setting for the launch of Lutine’s new album White Flowers, but it also conveyed the duo’s ‘folky’ image to a perfect degree. The church echoed their sweet voices and the beautiful musical notes making it an appropriate setting for their intimate performance. Surprisingly, the church was comfortably crowded despite the duo choosing not perform in a venue in central Brighton. Their hypnotising voices were aided by the acoustics of the church, mirroring that of the new album which was recorded over the summer in St Laurence’s itself. It was mentioned that they had a regular visit from a seagull near one of the windows, with which they could not completely eradicate from one recording; adding to the homegrown, strippedback, raw feeling the album has.
Brighton based Lutine are made up of Emma Morton and Heather Minor who have endeavoured to produce sweet, pure and sometimes sorrowful melodies in a world increasingly dominated by mainstream music and artists. They are not afraid to push the boundaries within the folk genre, and their haunting voices combined with light tripping notes from the piano gave the songs a contradictory calming and reflective effect on the listener. The high pitched sweet sounds were met with a sublime musical arrangement making some songs provoking and some saddening. These feelings were reflected by a variety of flickering moving images that were projected onto the wall behind the band, adding to the sense of pastoral ‘Englishness’ that the sounds mustered.
Lutine were supported by Bella Emerson, whose melodic and eerie yet, enchanting music was the perfect set up for Lutine’s equally evocative songs. The entire evening was spine-tingling from beginning to end; aided by the spiritual vibe the unique setting of the church gave. The only interruption came from a problem with affixing a strap for the autoharp which mustered a few laughs and was dealt with in good humor. The general consensus from my friends was that the harmonious melodies set with soft strummings were perfect for evoking the feelings of autumnal weather. And yes, although the church setting went someway to conjure a mood of chilly wintry evenings and calm Sunday listening, the feelings of warmth also shone through here and there giving an overall joyful and blissful effect.
Although the view was somewhat limited from the church pews, the soft, yet simple lighting effect within the front of the church went some way to alleviate this problem. It was nevertheless a unique Saturday evening well spent. There is something magical about the way their voices make you feel, they stop you in your tracks so you can really contemplate the lyrics and appreciate the variety of unique instruments they play. They finished with their single, ‘Sallow Tree’, which concluded a perfect end to a perfect show. So, whether imagining yourself alongside the warmth of a fire on a Winter’s day or on the beach in the midst of Summer; have a listen to the album and decide for yourself.