LIVE REVIEW: Alexi Murdoch, Union Chapel (London) 25.11.2011

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Alexi Murdoch seems a small man.’

As I take my place in the beautiful old church that feels strong enough to withstand a stampede of Christmas shoppers (yes, it’s happening) I wonder how such a small man, alone with his guitar, can fill this ancient space with sound.

He opens with what I can only imagine was an original mantra of his, and immediately the old church on Compton Terrace seemed haunted by the ghosts of Alexi Murdoch.

Prepare your spirit. Laugh at your fear. Be kind to the living. Remember the dead.

I can’t tell if it was just me, or if the entire church froze at this, but something settled onto my shoulders and made its way slowly and quietly inside of me for the duration of the evening.

can tell you that for a slight man, Alexi Murdoch packs the punch of a much more sizable entity.

It was as though all the ghosts of his past self had settled into the audience and hushed us off to limbo land to intermingle with them. And in limbo, there is just Alexi’s soft and compelling voice, his simple steady melodies and an open casket of emotions to take in.

It’s not for everyone.

Highlights included ‘Towards the Sun’, ‘Slow Revolution’, ‘All Of My Days’, ‘Breathe’, ‘Someday Soon’ and just about every song played. Perhaps that is too generous, and I was easily won by the pensive mantra and a formidable sound from a lone man stood in a church, but the only disappointment I had to bear that evening (and it was quite disheartening, really, when you think you’ve found a soul mate…) was that Alexi Murdoch doesn’t do the small talk.

Understandably so if your songs are a quiet lullaby of gut-wrenching heartbreak or loss, which I am going to go out on a limb and guess that some of them were, but what did I learn about Alexi Murdoch that evening?

Only that he is small man, packed full of ghosts.

It helps that he can sing, of course. And his songs were as staggeringly beautiful as the old church he seemed so contented to be in.

Reviewer :Dominique Gozdawa
Rating: 5/5

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