Rumer Live in Londonderry

Singer - songwriter Rumer plays a stunning show in Derry's Christ Church venue.


Christ Church

It’s twelve years since Rumer burst onto the big stage with her exquisite ‘Seasons of my Soul’ album which was nominated for 2 Brits and became one of the top 40 debut albums of the decade. She has produced another 5 albums since then, and tonight was a chance to revel in, and listen to her back pages, and luxuriate in that amazing voice.

Backed with the immense talents of Darren Hudson on guitar, and Rob Taggart on piano, this was a gig that will live long in the memory.

First up on the night was local musician Suzanne Savage. I have heard Suzanne’s name being spoken of very highly of by musician friends, but this was the first time I’ve heard her in person. My loss. Suzanne delivers a startlingly good set, the only criticism of which I can think of is it’s brevity.  Moving easily between violin and guitar, her soft soprano voice is adaptable to sing jazz, blues, and ballads and that’s only a start to her talents. It’s clear she is enjoying the moment, and there’s an easy interaction between the artist and a happy audience.

Suzanne already has an impressive CV, singing backing vocals, and violinist with Paul Brady, and former soprano soloist at Riverdance. She’s an artist, I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for her future gigs.

After a short break, Rumer takes to the stage, with her merry band of two, and opens with a compelling version of early hit, ‘Come to Me’, which sets the tone for an evening of quite superb entertainment.

The work of writer Hugh Prestwood, was celebrated in Rumer’s album, ‘Nashville Tears’, and these songs run a quality thread through the evening. For starters, we are treated to a sumptuous rendition of ‘Fireflies’, with her smooth, emotive delivery filling the old church to the rafters.  Kudos too, at this point, to Kieran Dunlop of Music Capital for bringing an artist of Rumer’s stature to the North West. A great opportunity to see such a star in such an intimate and beautiful setting.

Despite her stated nervousness, Rumer displays an easy charm, relating the background to the songs, joking with audiences and band members

Her versions of other artists songs, are on the money, but one downside of such material is that her own writing has been somewhat downplayed, which is a real shame, because her own songs are quite exceptional.

Songs like ‘Aretha’ and the power of music to overcome barriers, ‘Slow’, and ‘Take Ae as I Am’, are compositions other artists would kill for. Songs, that performed live, in such beautiful surroundings, with immaculately backed musicianship, remain with the listener long after the gig.

The Townes Van Zandt’s classic, ‘Flying Shoes’ is given an exemplary soulful outing, bringing out both the desolation of the original, and that desire to escape and be free. It’s another song that soars in the night.  ‘Ain’t Who I Was’, shows the singer showing her bluesier side, honed from and developed from her years living in the American South.

Rumer’s voice is the undoubted star of the evening. Never forced, never overworked, there is such an ease in delivery, and warmth to the tone, yet she can deliver blues and jazz elements to that sonic palette.

It was an absolute privilege to witness the singer tonight, the best gig I have witnessed in some years. Quietly sensational.

The evening ends on yet another superb high, with the gorgeous ‘Better Place’.

There is real grace, and undoubted beauty to Rumer’s performance tonight, the world is indeed a better place with her in it.