I couldn’t have asked for a better setting in which to which to watch up & coming singer/song-writer Kandace Springs than the atmospheric surroundings of Shoreditch Town Hall. This is one of my favourite buildings in London: if you aren’t familiar with it, the Town Hall stands proudly upon the site of the old Fuller’s Hospital, in Old Street. Having carried the mantle of being one of the grandest Vestry Halls in London since 1865, it was converted into an arts and events venue in 2004 and regularly hosts weddings, dinners, theatre and, of course, concerts.
Which leads me on to the actual reason for me being in Shoreditch in the first place: music, and the divine Kandace Springs. This was the first time I’d seen Kandace perform live – and, believe me, she was a delight to watch. Warm and personable – not to mention very funny – her incredibly soulful voice was perfectly suited to the Town Hall’s Assembly Room, with its high ceilings and lovely Italian marble-panelled walls.
Accompanied by just two band members, Kandace performed numbers from her debut album ‘Soul Eyes’, as well as some strong new songs from her forthcoming new album. In between songs, Kandace chatted about her childhood (she grew up in Nashville and her father was a musician, so it was pretty much inevitable she would end up in the industry) and her musical influences, which include Roberta Flack, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Close to the end of the evening, she sang ‘Killing Me Softly’ and, in my humble opinion, managed to out-Roberta Roberta – no mean feat.
Kandace brought the evening to a perfect conclusion with a heartfelt version of ‘At Last’, which left not a few members of the audience surreptitiously wiping away tears and all of us palpably reluctant to leave. And no wonder. This was a magical occasion – the kind of evening which reminds you all over again just why you fell in love with music in the first place.