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faunThe Union Chapel, London, UK
9th April 2022
Faun & Support: Flight Behaviour & Serpentyne

Tonight’s entertainment was close to home and it involved a quick walk up the road to the Union Chapel to experience it. FAUN were headlining this iconic London venue ably supported by US band FLIGHT BEHAVIOUR and Britain’s own SERPENTYNE. The walk up was uneventful apart from some idiot waffling on about a yellow car in a baby voice in my direction that had me responding with a rendition of “Snooker Loopy” by the Match Room Boys and twirling my fingers by my temple. When I got to the venue there was a long queue which snaked forward fairly swiftly but I did not get into the venue until 7:10pm, a good ten minutes into SERPENTYNE’s set. Also, when I requested a photo pass, I was led to believe that it would not be possible on this occasion but I could have a guest pass. “That’s fine!”’ I thought, be grateful for that and enjoy the show. So I got to the front of the queue and it turned out that a photo pass was waiting for me. “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!” I screamed on the inside! Anyway, into the Chapel I went and found a nice balcony pew and it is there I set myself for the night’s entertainment…


SERPENTYNE came into existence in 2010 with Maggiebeth sand being the fulcrum that all other elements orbit around. Their music is Celtic, Folk, Viking, Mediaeval and Metal inspired; to date they have released four albums with a fifth on the way. They’ve toured all over Europe and the UK at various festivals that include: The Northern Symphony Festival, Darker Days Festival and M2TM in London. In 2018 they toured extensively with TARJA TURRUNEN, who they will be back on the road with very soon. More info on SERPENTYNE can be gleaned from


Music & Performance
They only had half an hour to perform but half an hour is a gift from the gods if you’ve not played live for over two years. The area right in front of the stage was full at this point but most of the balcony seating was still empty. SERPENTYNE are in the process of changing their sound; their current drummer is moving to keyboards and a new drummer will come in to fill that role. But tonight, though he was where he’s been for a few years now, sat behind the skins. Another addition to the line-up this evening was a chap from Columbia by the name of Anthar playing a drum that looked like a Tubano, Djembe or a Conga and didn’t look out of place amongst the regulars. Tracks played during this short set were ‘Lammas Night’, ‘Pipes N Drums’ and ‘Morrighan’s Jig’, all of which got the crowd clapping and foot stomping.


At this point I’ll mention that the performance was a typical SERPENTYNE performance, it was upbeat, the sort of music you listen to whilst dancing around a huge fire as the sun goes down, drinking horn in hand and inhibitions truly blunted. ‘Lammas Night’ being perfect for this setting with its eastern allusions gyrating in tandem with the rising flames of the fire. But there is something that wasn’t quite right. And as I said in a previous live review of SERPENTYNE this has nothing to do with the band. It was the sound mix. It just didn’t feel rich and full. The mix was a little thin. Now that could be my interpretation of the sound or that the mix genuinely was not given the punch I expected. Anyway, moving on! Because it was a Chapel it was an all-seat affair apart from in the walkways under the balconies so no dancing was allowed other than in the walkway areas. I sat up in the balcony looking down at the seated foot stomp and clap with bemusement waiting for someone to take the lead and go “Sod this I’m standing!” but nobody did.


Near the end Maggiebeth Sand, the band’s vocalist introduced the other members of the band to the crowd, they thanked everyone for coming etc and after the rousing rendition of ‘Morrighan’s Jig’ they left the stage but not before swiftly removing the band banner that was draped in front of the Chapel’s pulpit…

01. Boudicca
02. Valkyries
03. The Call Of The Banshee
04. Pipes N Drums
05. Lammas Night
06. Morrghan’s Jig

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Light: 8
Sound: 6.5
Total: 7.5 / 10


Flight Behaviour

FLIGHT BEHAVIOUR was on next. They are a two piece from the USA consisting of Ariana Saraha on vocals and Fernando Medina on drums and Omar Rios on bass. They’ve been around for a few years, how long I know not at the time of writing this but they’ve released one album, ‘Songs Of Christmas’ in 2020 and with the second ‘From The Wild’ due for release on the 22nd April. You can check them out here:


Music & Performance
I found them interesting! Hypnotic and eastern, the visuals in my head are of vast swaths of hot sand and tall, tall green trees! The drums were expressively textured and reminded me of the inventiveness of early PINK FLOYD (Live In Pompei). And the vocals weaved through the air and at times also hung there like leaves on a breeze. The track ‘Grandmothers Tears’ is a case in point. PINK FLOYD crossed with DIAMANDA GALAS and LISA GERRARD is what I thought. The only thing that annoyed me was the use of, what I perceived as a childlike tick tick tick-tocking on a track later on in the set that was used earlier in the set. It was irritating me for some reason and a Fylgja on my shoulder was whispering “Turn that damn thing off!”


Apart from that, this introduction to FLIGHT BEHAVIOUR was an enjoyable one! The lighting was spot on, it was simple but effective and evoked the rays of the sun streaming down into the bowels of a densely packed forest. And the sound was soothing. The new album ‘From The Wild’ is definitely worth checking out when it’s released on April 22nd.

01. From the Wild
02. Cry to the Moon
03. Grandmother’s Tears
04. White Thistle Garden
05. The Last Days
06. Weaver of Stars
07. Lady of the Trees

Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 6
Light: 9
Total: 7 / 10


FAUN have been performing their Pagan Folk music since 1998 and the musical alchemy incorporates Perso Arabic melody with Medieval Folk music, lyrics sung in Germanic languages, the use of Nyckelharpa, flutes and Hurdy Gurdys. And the overall vibe is one of worship of nature and its deities. In the twenty-four years they’ve been in existence they’ve released over eleven albums including ‘Midgard’ in 2016 the climbed to N°3 in the German charts. For more information click on the following link:


Music & Performance
This is the second time I’ve seen FAUN in London. Their music is organic woody music to entertain the denizens of the forest, seen and unseen. The set was one that moved things forward, I didn’t feel that I was meant to stay still. My mind wandered; it did not stay focused on any particular thing for long but when it did one thought kept cropping up. I must not dwell on how shit things are and on what I don’t have. What I do have is worth its weight in gold and I must be grateful and gracious because even that could disappear with the click of a finger. But in a dissonant way I also had to stay in the moment to enjoy it and then do the wandering. Wandering in the moment!


I don’t really like too much chat between tracks, I prefer artists to just introduce the song and then get on with it but tonight I found the song set ups an easy thing to bear because they were delivered with fluidity and humour which the audience appreciated, and I did not catch myself once saying to myself “Oh get on with it!” The humour was old English postcard in tone with nudge-nudge innuendo that revolved around the audience filling the cavernous space with lusty enthusiasm, or something along those lines! The sound mix was good and the lighting was in keeping with the architectural texture of the building. It was not overblown and the use of colour, mainly purples, blues and yellows worked well when spotlighting pillars or the detail in the roof.


One thing that was a theme for all three bands is the element of audience participation. Enthusiastic applause, respectful applause, hand stinging clapping and raucous cheers. It felt religious. A Pagan gathering in a Christian setting where all energy was focused towards the stage at the priests and priestesses of song. The setting was stone but it may as well have been a wooded grove, a long house or even a barn! I can’t remember what time it all finished, was it 10:30 or 11pm? If you were there then let me know in the comments below! Anyway, finish it did, we all filed out into the cold of Compton Terrace and made our way to a pub, a train station, bus stop or for me, home around the corner. A satisfactory night indeed!

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8 / 10


All pictures by Claudia Black (

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