Third year pop student Lily Moharrer reports on Trinity Circle's community event on 28 February – creativity born and run by Leeds College of Music students.
When most would be downing a bottle of wine on a Friday evening, I was on my way to a small and intimate gathering at Holy Trinity Church for Trinity Circle – a monthly event that celebrates music and film from particular eras in history. This month, the event (run by Leeds College of Music Students Georgia Thursting, Jacob Savage and Chris Milnes) is paying homage to the dungaree wearing, VHS watching, millennial fearing 90s!
Upon opening the double doors of the church, the hustle and bustle of Leeds city centre is left behind as you step into a refuge that exudes sincere charm and welcomes you to stay as long as you’d like in its warm and peaceful interior.
The low ambient lighting combined with the sweet smell of caramel popcorn creates a sensory atmosphere that is friendly and inviting. The only things missing? Duvets, pillows and pyjamas, which, added to the mix, would have been reminiscent of childhood sleepovers where teen cult movies were watched, sweet treats were gorged on and you’d stay up talking all night long.
The crowd slowly arrive ready for the night to kick off with Matilda, the movie. You can feel the enthusiasm and nostalgia fill the church hall as the audience laugh, squirm and quote along to the movie together. Though it is a busy Friday night, the event organisers have managed to build an idyllic bubble within the church that has, from the look on their faces, transported the audience back to being children in the 1990s.
With a happy ending and a roaring cheer, the cinematic experience comes to a close but after a quick break for a top up of popcorn, the night is back in full swing with live entertainment from Courtney Rigby.
Beginning with her soft rendition of the Shania Twain classic, ‘You’re Still the One’, Courtney serenades the contented audience. The house band perfectly complement her angelic sweet tones of youth and light clear vocals.
Next up, Katie Heap commands the stage with her flawless interpretation of The Cardigans' iconic song, ‘Lovefool’. Her voice echoes through the entire church, yet her shy presence teases the audience with clear controlled tones.
She's followed by Lily Kerbey and her soulful cover of ‘Genie in a Bottle’ by 90s favourite, Christina Aguilera. The natural reverb of the church beautifully complements her voice as she takes full control of the power that her vocals are capable of.
Looking the part, Samantha Jayne Hoare is before the crowd with exuberant confidence. She captivates the audience with her performance of LeAnn Rimes’ ‘How Do I Live’. The many velvet textures and natural distortions of her voice are very current and give a fresh new take on the iconic ballad.
Handing over to the boys, Ben Bickley croons his way through his version of the Cranbury’s classic, ‘Zombie’. With a soft voice, that holds slight gravelly tones, he effectively builds a vulnerable tension unlike the mild aggressive nature of the original track that creates a very emotive response from the audience.
Carrying on with the dark side of the 90s, Will Blundell’s cover of Nirvana’s, ‘Something in the Way’ has the audience on the edge of their seats. His vocals howl through the church as he adds texture and distortion to his voice by twisting notes with appropriate angst.
No 90s event would be complete without a boy band cover. David Smith’s original interpretation of the Backstreet Boys' ‘Backstreets Back’ features delicate instrumentation that soothes the audience through the verses with his breathy tones that then mature into a vulnerable yearn.
One more track from each act gets the audience dancing to the likes of Radiohead, Blur, TLC, Cher, the Friends theme tune and, in my opinion, the performance that stole the show, ‘Time of Your Life’ by Green Day sung by Katie Heap. As she blows the audience away with her faultless performance, every jaw hits the floor.
An impromptu jam around Peter Andre’s ‘Mysterious Girl’ followed by Wheatus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ has the audience singing along and with most of them being music students, this obviously features harmonies. It was as if the ethos of the evening was held in that moment alone as a wonderfully communal and friendly event came to a close.
Though attracting a small audience to begin with, it is clear to imagine the potential for this event as Trinity Circle has struck upon a very individual experience that I’m sure with more advertisement, will thrive. It is a rare quality to be able to bring people together and manifest a community in the space of an evening. The night was a nostalgic experience transporting people from the present day to the 90s; bringing back forgotten memories and a musical experience that allowed for a reminiscent atmosphere. A highly recommended event that will not fail to disappoint.
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