CONCERT REVIEW: Just a voice and a keyboard needed to deliver a simple message
Chloe Reynolds, I Am Brave Tour at Spalding Baptist Church
She came, she sang, she played and she spoke from her heart.
That, in a nutshell, is what Chloe Reynolds did at Spalding Baptist Church on Friday - and that is just the way she would have had it.
Rarely has there ever been a concert in Spalding, or anywhere else for that matter, where the combination of simplicity and authenticity worked so well together.
Chloe, originally from Surrey but now based in Gloucester, gave fair warning of her intentions during an interview before the concert in which she said: “I don’t necessarily have more of a gift than any other music artist.
“But when you have an opportunity, you don’t say ‘No’”.
Becoming a Christian was the most rebellious thing I’d ever done and many years on, my family has come to the understanding that I’m sticking with it
Across two 50-minute sets, Chloe played 17 songs from her two albums, the debut and breakthrough Broken Beautiful and follow-up I Am Brave, with just a one-year interval between the two.
In-between songs, Chloe spoke about her uncomplicated but nevertheless sincere journey to Christianity, something she described as “the most rebellious thing I’ve ever done”.
Chloe said: “I was a very good child, I never did anything bad, I always did my home work and I never rebelled in any way at all.
“But I believe there’s more to life and, as a Christian, I believe there’s more that God wants me to discover.
“I’d always been told that only weak people believe in a god until a group of local people where I lived told me I was loved and that they believed in a God who loves even me.
“Becoming a Christian was the most rebellious thing I’d ever done and many years on, my family has come to the understanding that I’m sticking with it.”
Equally rebellious was her promoting of international children’s sponsorship charity Compassion UK for whom one of the songs Chloe sang on Friday, “Safe In My Arms”, may have been written.
Chloe said: “I’ve supported Compassion UK ever since I was old enough to own a debit card and so it’s great to be an ambassador for the charity.
“About two years ago, I put a video out on social media called ‘Broken Beautiful’ and, within a week, it had 35,000 views.
“Then I set myself the ridiculous challenge of writing my second album, ‘I Am Brave’, in a year and in-between all of that, I’ve toured with Marti Pellow (Wet Wet Wet), Anastasia and Lulu.
“The Anastasia tour came on the back of my first album, ‘Broken Beautiful’, and because Anastasia and Lulu are friends, they spoke to each other about me and I was then offer the chance to tour with Lulu.”
Even with her Lauryn Hill-like vocals, it would be a grave mistake to compare Chloe Reynolds to anyone else.
She said: “Although I’m an independent music artist who spends a lot of my time doing my own stuff, I really want my music to make a difference to a lot of people.
“I was nine years old when I watched the film Sister Act with Lauren Hill (of The Fugees) in it and that’s why my musical roots lean more generally towards gospel and soul.
Just being herself is just the way Chloe Reynolds like it and her Spalding audience were treated to the pure, unspoilt, gimmick-free Chloe Reynolds.
She said: “I don’t expect just to entertain people and give them a good night.
“I sing because I want people to understand that Jesus Christ is real, that His love is real and for everybody, that there’s more out there and that there’s hope for everyone.”
Review and interview by Winston Brown