Live Review: Martha Ffion – Servant Jazz Quarters


In a tiny basement room with only a handful of people, Ross Hutchinson starts the night’s proceedings with his electric guitar, giving us haunting melodies and drawing us into his ‘very short and sad subject matters.’ His voice is light and high and engaging as the room fills with bodies as his set goes on.

We are then taken up quite a few notches as second support Samuel Jack and his band give us more soulful vibes. There is a very upbeat energy as Samuel swaps singing vocals to then taking up the piano.  His band is just as energetic and the crowd is moving to every beat, with just enough room to move between each other. Jack’s energy has set the atmosphere up for the main act, for sure.

Martha Ffion, what can I say? I only saw her two weeks ago in Newcastle. The crowd were modest and she definitely has a following up North, but the London crowd were certainly out in force. From the first note we are in the Ffion zone. The band is energetic from the get-go and those on the backing vocals are absolutely perfect. Martha interacts with the crowd at key moments and it seems to flow naturally from her ode to Glasgow in the song We Disappear.  The crowd are ecstatic when they are told they can buy a download to her song Lead Balloon and then the song most of us were in the room for, Wall Flower, just makes the crowd go crazy. With the electricity in the room it seems a shame and quite ironic that when we get the final number, No Applause, that the crowd really want an encore.

Having seen Martha Ffion in the space of two weeks, it seems she and her band have got tighter and word is clearly spreading as the atmosphere on this night was up there with one of the best I have ever experienced. The night itself gave us melancholy sounds to upbeat soul and finished with what some people are dubbing indie-pop from Ffion. It will not be long until Martha Ffion is known to more and she will be getting bigger venues because people will be eager to come to capture this sound live.

Words and Image by Victoria Ling


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