Staving the best ‘til last

The Staves
The Staves

As they head back on the road in support of their album ‘If I Was’, The Staves are once again visiting the North East.

They have graced the stages of everywhere from The Sage to Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, but this is the first time they have performed at Newcastle’s Student Union on what will be their final tour in what’s been a busy 12 months.

Fresh from supporting Florence and The Machine, they are looking forward to being able to perform to their own audience again in a more intimate setting.

Touring with Florence has been a highlight of their year so far, particularly doing four nights at the iconic Alexandra Palace.

However the group are far from the big lunged athematic Florence, nor are they like the poppy Taylor Swift.

They are their own group, folk-tinged acoustic harmonies with the sisters sharing more in common with the likes of Norah Jones and Laura Marling.

But even though they sing in unison, singer Jessica Stavely-Taylor admits not everything is always harmonious among the siblings.

“We bicker but we get on, we drive each other mad as you would expect in an all consuming career,” said Jessica.

“It’s definitely a challenge but they are my best friends and we look after each other.

“We are sisters - if this ends, we will still be sisters.”

Watford-born Jessica’s professional singing started as a performing arts student in Liverpool.

Here she honed her tones in a compulsory acapella group.

“Pitch Perfect and Glee are right up my street!” admits Jessica, adding: “At university we performed some questionable material.”

It was the perfect preparation for the melancholic harmonies her and her sister’s consistently perform, which can be so intense in a live set, they require extreme focus - as there’s nowhere to hide behind instrumental accompaniment.

Following this UK tour, the band will continue as new songs are being written all the time for the next album.

Whilst whimsically they may claim to want to go to an island with palm trees, their heart’s truly lie back in the wilds of Wisconsin where they recorded their current album, produced by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon.

“I’ve read a lot of biographies and there’s a lot of great studios on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Jessica.

“But if I had to be pushed I would want to go back to that studio in Wisconsin.”

The Staves play Newcastle University Student Union on Sunday October 25.