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The Bedford hosts secret Charlotte Church gig

Welsh songstress Charlotte Church performed an intimate set of new songs from her upcoming album at The Bedford last week, writes Paul Watson

The Bedford, which is among the nominees for ‘best venue’ at this year’s London Lifestyle Awards, played host to a secret Charlotte Church performance last week in its Shakespearean Globe theatre. A 200-strong capacity crowd filled the Balham venue for an evening of kooky acoustic pop/rock numbers by the enormously talented – and still very young – Charlotte Church. The 24-year-old performer, whose ‘voice of an angel’ tag has been pretty unshakeable for over a decade, proved that she has a lot more than that to offer the music business as she delivered a breathtaking set of new songs from her soon-to-be-released album Back To Scratch with an eleven-piece band, including a string quartet located up in the bleachers. The venue received an overhaul for the evening as the house system was replaced by bright white Nexo PS15 loudspeakers and LS1200 subwoofers. EAW wedges were also deployed across the stage and IEMs were brought in for the band. Church sang through a Sennheiser 865 microphone and 935s were used for the BVs. Tony Moore, director of music, art and development at The Bedford, says the venue is no stranger to hushed-up gigs. “We were delighted to be able to host a secret show with the amazing Charlotte Church,” exudes Moore. “We worked very closely with her production team to make the evening very special; and we are proud to add her to our list of intimate gigs that include KT Tunstall, Pete Townshend and The Finn Brothers.” At FOH position, engineer Andrew Thornton – who also works FOH for Pixie Lott – ran 37 channels from an Avid Profile console, which replaced the house desk for this one-off show. “It’s quite a challenge putting an eleven-piece band through such a small PA, but we managed to get a really great result,” says Thornton. “The PS15 is an incredibly good sounding box and stands up on its own; it’s got quite a hi-fi sound for what is essentially quite an old fashioned box, so it was ideal for what we wanted to do.” Church’s album Back To Scratch will be released on October 25th.