Marie Naffah and Sofia Lafuente impress at packed King's Cross venue
- Credit: Rebecca Homer
Marie Naffah had a more active 2021 than most singers - touring the length of the country (mostly on a varying quality of train) to play 50 gigs in 50 days.
She is anything but out of practice but Friday’s one off performance at St Pancras Old Church felt a bigger deal for 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 to date - her big, soulful voice reverberating around the intimate setting. Fans were treated to songs from a new, reflective EP due out next month, which was partly inspired by her 50 day marathon with a song dedicated to Great Western Railway.
There was also room for some earlier, funkier numbers and her cover of Elton John’s Bennie and the Jets - which has become a setlist staple. St Pancras Old Church is one of England’s oldest places of worship but Marie’s enthusiastic fan base quickly made the setting feel as homely as the houses she had played in during the tour. One could almost forget the gig was in a church, at least until the bells chimed an agonising ten times - which, to their credit, did not put off the performers.
There was a little confusion at times between musicians, perhaps to be expected for a first performance. But there was nothing to dampen the mood - especially with Marie’s stage banter on top form, the singer at one point thanking the audience for cancelling Earth Day plans to come along!
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 excited to perform latest track Religion in the church setting - despite the song being about feelings in a relationship rather than the kind of hymn St Pancras regulars could be more accustomed to. With another of her songs having recently featured during a break-up scene in Love Island - Sofia has now witnessed both ends of the spectrum for the UK’s cultural offerings and is well placed to make her mark on these shores.