Who: Au Revoir Simone, Alessi's Ark, Call Me Kat Where: Union Chapel, London When: 2nd October Photos: Meg Mackay - Website After a skinful of painfully cheap lager on a Thursday night followed by a day stuck in an office pretending to look at Excel spreadsheets whilst actually splitting my attention in equal measures between not dying and willing the time to pass, the prospect of an evening spent in a church was not the most appealing way of spending my Friday night. However, when said evening involves an all-girl lineup featuring a live performance from Brooklyn's finest electro-keyboard trio Au Revoire Simone, things just perk up somewhat. Completing the lineup were Call Me Kat and Alessi's Ark. Proceedings were kicked off in the stunning, yet amazingly chilly, Union Chapel in a fairly unassuming fashion with a short set from Call Me Kat. It was pleasant enough without really knocking my socks off as she plink-plonked her way through a fairly minimalistic collection of tracks on her keyboards making use of the odd effect or two. She has an interesting and soothing voice and seemed to really enjoy herself in front of a large, yet largely silent crowd. A definite highlight of the set for me was her use of a collection if strange gizmos and gadgets and in particular when she broke out the kazoo to accompany her. Following this came Alessi's Ark. Alessi is an act I have heard quite a bit of hype over in recent months and this was the first time I had seen her play live. Despite feeling under the weather ('Got a lot of snot' she graciously informed us) she put in a solid performance. Her acoustic tracks were at their soaring best when backed by her band and at times wobbled a little when she played solo as she struggled a little with her guitar and vocals. This was most clearly evident on track 'The Bird' where she had three or four goes to get the chord sequencing right only to then give up and promptly end the track! Having said that, it would be unfair to her and her band to focus upon this. There were some really sweet moments too and again she has a charming stage presence and vocal range. Alessi definitely has potential and on another night, when not full of the cold (or 'snot') and with a bit more concentration (and backing from her band) you get the feeling she could knock out something really special. From there came the headline act, Au Revoir Simone. Again this is a band who I had been wanting to catch for a while but contrived to miss them each time they ended up in town. By the time they took to the stage the Union Chapel was packed to the (very high) rafters and my hungover state had subsided somewhat thanks to the soothing vocals from the previous two acts, so everythign was looking up. The fit between the Brooklyn trio's floaty electronic keyboard sound and the spectacular Union Chapel's surroundings made for an ideal environment for the girls to showcase their latest album 'Still The Night, Still The Light'. The venue's acoustics complimented them perfectly and their ethereal sermon was consumed heartily by the congregation. Their 13 track set drew from each of their albums and kicked off with 'All Or Nothing' one of many highlights from current record 'Still Night, Still Light'. As result of using a piano throughout we saw a few reworked tracks including oldie and fans favourite 'Stay Golden' which again sent a shiver through the crowd - though this time more through sentiment and emothion as opposed to freezing surrounds. They played my personal favourite 'Take Me As I Am' about half way through which saw Annie take leave of her keys in favour of a stomping box perched at the front of the stage to impressively provide additional beats (despite a bust up ankle) in what was again a real high point in the set. One thing that was clear from this set was just how much the girls enjoyed themselves on stage and really how blown away they were to be playing in such an environment. This came across with all the inbetween song chatter where they were effusive about just how special everything was and how much it all meant to them seeing everyone out there. This chatter was all really endearing and made the performance even more special - especially when they (slightly tongue-in-cheek) apologised to God for saying 'Fuck' in church... After 'Trace a Line' and 'Only You Can Make Me Happy' they closed with 'Knight of Wands' and left the stage to rapturous applause... Of course, they weren't done with this and came back for a three song encore of 'Tell Me', 'Lucky One' and then 'Dark Halls' which was squeezed in just before 'God's bedtime' (AKA the 10.30pm curfew at the Union Chapel) and came in just below the noise limit of 85db - which I think was probably broken by the audience's applause at the point the girls eventually left the stage. All in all I wouldn't normally be a fan of going to church on a Friday night (especially with a hangover) preferring instead the holy water, but this was no normal sermon. This was the gospel according to Erika, Annie and Heather from the book of Au Revoir Simone and with this I have seen the light! Hallelujah! I'm a believer.