Charlotte Church

Live shots

Charlotte Church
by John Anderson

Charlotte Church

VEVO Tv Control Room, Friday, March 15

At 27, Charlotte Church has spent nearly half her life in the UK media spotlight. The Welsh songstress might have thought she was foiling the paparazzi with her gray bouffant wig and vaguely Victorian muumuu, but there was no mistaking the voice of the classically trained former teen sensation. Church could sing "Ave Maria" or "Hallejuah" and passersby would have to sit down and shut up. For her current modus, Church uses her voice to establish a transcendent presence, her vocals occasionally looped on a series of compositions she's tracking for an independently produced series of five EPs. Though barely 200 people found their way to her performance, Church was unfussy and professional. On the second song, "I Can Dream," a Goan-style trip-hop meditation, the lyrics were virtually unintelligible, yet the turmoil operatically conveyed. Despite its Katy Perry title, single "Glitterbombed" bristled with Björk level pyrotechnical vox, but also showed a side of Church still lingering from her Celtic Woman performances. The singer came backed by a quintet featuring two drummers, which helped complete the fusion of rock and classical. If she can work out the compositional formula, Charlotte Church will join the likes of Kate Bush and Sinead O'Connor as a fierce new voice for her own generation.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Mother Falcon
Good Luck Have Fun (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Oct. 23, 2015

Texas Platters
Erin Ivey & Tosca String Quartet
Whisper of the Moon (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, Feb. 14, 2014

More by Dan Oko
Live Shots
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
SXSW showcase reviews

March 15, 2013

Spotlight: Richard Thompson
Spotlight: Richard Thompson
10pm, Antone's

March 15, 2013

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)