Eloise Fabbri Single Launch – St James Cafe – 16/12/20

Eloise Fabbri at St James
Eloise Fabbri

Eloise Fabbri has been busy making a name for herself on Guernsey’s live scene over recent years and, on Wednesday 16th December, launched her debut single, Beauty, with a special event in the cafe at St James, showcasing not just her new music but that of three other up and coming artists.

First up was a brand new performer going by the name of Kid (aka Meave Carre) along with School Of Popular Music/Last Of The Light Brigade’s Tyler Edmonds on guitar.

Kid with Tyler Edmonds
Kid with Tyler Edmonds

After a nervous and quiet start, understandable as I believe this was her debut public performance and the cafe was already very busy, her confidence and voice grew nicely across the set.

With a mix of covers and originals she had a different style of voice to many young female singers, which was refreshing to hear, with more of an indie sensibility that went down well and, with a mention of an EP in the works, I was left looking forward to hearing more.

Mimi Helyar has been writing and playing her own songs for a few years both in the UK and more recently back here in Guernsey, including an appearance on the BBC Music Introducing stage on Arts Sunday back in August, but this was only my second opportunity to see her live.

Mimi Helyar

From the off, a cover of Britney Spears’ Toxic with a very different feel, her skills were clear but it was on her own songs that this really came to the fore as she added a melancholy tinge to some more traditional acoustic pop sounds with a real emotional edge without being over the top about it.

Highlights of the set came with a number called Red Lights that she said she doesn’t play very often and a great cover of Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn that she dedicated to her mum.

Another artist who’s really started to make a name for himself over the last year, Mickey Haimes, was up next.

Mickey Haimes
Mickey Haimes

With the venue now at ‘one in, one out’ capacity he probably suffered most out of all the acts from the general hubbub with his combination of indie pop and Jack Johnson like relaxed acoustic sounds becoming dangerously close to background music at points regardless of how well it was delivered, and this was certainly the best I’ve seen him play.

Throughout his set he treated us to a mix of covers and original songs, including a festive rendition of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, but the highlights came when he threw in a bit of edge on a vintage Arctic Monkeys track and with his own song about mental health that, even though the full message maybe got a bit lost in the noise of the room, the basic sentiment still cut through and made an impact, particularly suitable to a night raising money for the Guernsey Mind charity.

Eloise Fabbri and band
Eloise Fabbri and her band

After a short break we were treated to the debut screening of the video for Beauty by Eloise Fabbri and then a full set featuring a newly out together band.

Combining a jazzy style with elements of off-kilter funk, trip-hop and pop the set was a great ride through sounds all centred on Fabbri’s expressive and energetic performance.

It was clear throughout how much Fabbri believes her words and uses them to power a delivery that borders on the theatrical but seems to come from a true place and is captivating for it.

The band, meanwhile, made up of Charlie Holmes on bass, Nick Coleman on guitar and Kieran Smale on drums found a great groove and swing that perfectly suited the songs and all the more impressive as all three and Fabbri are not a regularly gigging band.

Eloise Fabbri
Eloise Fabbri

Emotion and Samba (which saw her move to the upright piano) provided some high energy highlights, while the real standout moment came with the closing rendition of the new single that provided a powerful high to end the set, before she was called back for a more relaxed and energetic rerun at Samba closing a night showcasing new talent along with her new single on a great note.

You can see more of my photos from the show on the BBC Music Introducing In The Channel Islands Facebook page

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