Nils Frahm at St. Johns in Hackney

I became aware of Nils Frahms music when seeing the visual interpretation of the track Tristan by Misha Shyukin, a motion graphics student. Since then I have discovered many other tracks through Spotify. His music is ranging from solo piano to electronic and is quite varied in style (and quality according to me). When his London performance was announced I decided to book, hoping for it to contain his gentler and smarter piano pieces rather than mediocre electronic music or his more experimental excursions on the piano which I find less enjoyable.

The concert where going to take place at St. Johns in Hackney Central. A church doubling as concert venue. It’s in design of a “greek cross”, meaning that it is square rather than rectangular unlike most churches. Upon arrival the stage was all set in the middle with seating all around it.

The warm up act consisted of 2 young men one on the violin and the other on laptop. They played sort of alright but middle of the road electronica while showing stuttering abstract imagery on stacks of CRT TVs.

After a rather long interval the lights went down and soft orange spot focused on the church organ pipes and a small figure up in the gallery by the organ keyboard. After a short piece from the mighty sounding organ Nils Frahm came running down to the stage to continue his performance.

A grand piano, a small upright (with exposed mechanics which seems rather popular at the moment), a Roland Juno 60, a Fender Rhodes, a Roland Space Echo (with exposed mechanics) and some smaller effects I could not identify. Nils Frahm kept himself quite busy entertaining us for a few hours. The performance was rather diverse and even patchy at times but for me it was all more than well balanced out with his exquisite gentle playing on the upright piano. It was heart warming and especially as the entire encore was on the upright. I would quite happily have had that as the entire performance..

When the performance was over I decided to buy 2 of his records and with the receipt I also received a letter stating that who ever left the venue first would set off cascades of soap bubbles into the air. When we got out the sky was already full of thousands of them.

A fantastic, even if a bit patchy evening.











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