Review: Ritual Sessions at the Vaults (11/03/15)


Ritual Sessions began as a video production series that focused its attention on creating live recordings with a warm, intimate ethos. The group behind the project felt frustrated with the music scene in Southampton and its lack of “authentic, cosy and small music events” so decided to make a change. After gaining noteworthy success with their initial videos, ritual sessions realised they could achieve great things if they expanded their efforts into live shows.

Their show at the Vaults in Southampton was a fine example of their vision becoming reality. Set in an underground medieval vault, it was obvious from the beginning that this was not going to be an ordinary gig. Travel to the show was an adventure in itself, with an 10919045_424866351005130_3844742715974811248_nadorable hand drawn map being provided to attendees as directions.

Once arriving the Vault itself was bizarre, small and very cold space. However, Ritual Sessions lived up to their reputation and managed to create a cosy and welcoming vibe. It was clear that the group had put all their energy into making the night comfortable for everyone and the attention to detail was astounding. They had created their own pop-up bar and cake sale (extremely reasonably priced) along with delicate decor.

The artists who played were hand picked and perfect for the night. Tommy Hardman began the evening with an astounding set. His honest lyrics and stunning vocals blew the audience away. A fellow student at Southampton, Tommy is a hidden gem who has the potential to go far in the music industry. His voice is one of a kind and his inventive covers of songs such as ‘Ignition’ are beautifully original and fun.

Next up was Ellie Ford who had travelled all the way from Brighton just for the night. Her music combined melodic and complicated harp pieces with edgier acoustic undertones and dreamy vocals. She was accompanied by a member of her band who supplied gorgeous backing vocals that brought the whole set together. At times it felt as though Laura Marling was in the room.

Introducing local artist bannerTo finish the show, Jack Williams performed with his full band which was an unexpected treat. Jack has already gained significant notoriety in Southampton as a local up and comer, and he lived up to his reputation. His solo set was unique to say the least, combining the use of loop pedals, bowed guitar and atmospheric harmonies.

Ritual Sessions have created something special with their live shows, and the Vaults was an distinctively memorable evening. The work they do is tailored to their vision down to the smallest detail, and they are bringing a lot of character to the Southampton music scene. They are definitely a project to keep your eye on, and here at The Edge we expect great things from them in the near future.



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Features Editor, Third year History Student and sarcastic Landlady for The Talking Heads.

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