Review: Songs in College Hall

Review: Songs in College Hall

Co-Written by Kristina Grant and Lauren Kosky

When I walk into a school classroom in Sally’s Quad I expect the presentation before me that I have always had when having lessons in Comparative Literature or English. A row of chairs and a whiteboard waiting patiently at the front of the room. When I walk into a venue  for a concert and see six guitars on stage, I expect at least 4 to be for decoration purposes only, and I expect musicians who are slightly impersonally performing for their jobs. So, as I walked into a concert in College Hall I wasn’t sure what to expect – how would these two worlds collide? What I did not expect was a lighting display altering to the ambience of every song, and an intimate space transformed with a bar and seats around tables. Instead of rows there were chairs slightly grouped together all close to the stage and yet comfortably roomy. This was a show that defied expectations, one in which not even the shiny chrome silver guitar was left untouched. 

Despite initial apprehension the well-stocked bar, lighting and talent from our very own students and beyond meant that we were in for a great night. ‘Songs in College Hall’ provides something that little bit different. If you are looking for an event that provides you with a professional performance, with the diverse audience and glamorous venue to match, then this new and upcoming event will provide you with exactly what you are looking for, just much closer to home.

To start with our very own Sage Purdon and Ingrid Yeung opened the show. Ingrid’s mellow voice resounded in the room, bringing a sense of peace and an emotional security to the start of this Saturday night – a calm that stayed with me throughout the weekend. Sage’s performance was witty and humorous, offering a comedic relief through music that reminded me of old school Lily Allen. These opening acts set the tone of the night. With professionalism and talent permeating the air it was time for Rosie Sullivan to take to the stage.

Relaxing folk music is not a new genre for me (a point I like to make to anyone who will listen that I knew of Noah Kahan back in 2019 when he released his first album) but something about Rosie’s music resonated within me. This was not just folk music, this was something extra special. Maybe it’s her obvious love for Scotland and its natural beauty. Maybe it’s the way she is able to work the crowd without moving away from the calming energy her music produces. Or, maybe, it’s simply the power that her live vocals had over me. I could sit and analyse over why I felt a certain way but I don’t think I need to – I just felt it. Sat across the aisle from a man continually tapping his feet, and behind a group of girls swaying to the music, my enraptured state was clearly mutual in the room. With the continual introduction of different instruments throughout the performance, and the seamless harmonising from her bandmates, Rosie and her band’s skill and love for music was evident throughout the entire evening. 

Being witness to this first ‘Songs in College Hall’ event was really something special. I imagine all the performers will go on to do incredible things whether in music or not, but more than that it was this shared moment within the audience that we were witnessing the start of something great in this classroom. We were witnessing what ‘Songs in College Hall’ really meant – a night to be whisked away from the everyday mundanity to a place that only music can reach.

Rosie and her band,  Ingrid, and Sage, provided incredible performances that entertained and enthused the audience.  We surely hope that this event continues, and so with the first in the series coming to a close, ‘Songs in College Hall’ was nothing short of a success.

If you want to listen to any of these acts then you can find details of their spotify / social media below:

Ingrid’s spotify:

Rosie’s spotify: