Concert Reviews

The Staves at Lee’s Palace

“…but i know, i’ll see you again in the long run”

The chorus washes over the crowd, reverberates against the walls, and for a moment everything falls away and it’s just the audience now, singing in perfect harmony. It is midway through what can only be described as an absolutely magical set delivered by powerhouse folk-group The Staves; and everyone knows the words.

One of the most beautiful moments I have ever encountered at a concert of this size is tonight, singing in unity with a group of strangers, in a sold-out Lee’s Palace. The room is at capacity, and yet it feels as intimate as a few friends around a campfire. The chorus finishes and one lone voice, from deep within the audience, holds the final note a few moments too long. The audience erupts into a flutter of giggles, and the three women onstage, charmingly congratulate their Toronto audience for their singing- noting that this is the first “sing-along” of their tour.

The Staves, comprised of sisters Emily, Jessica and Camilla Staveley-Taylor, are partway through their tour to support the release of their newest EP “Sleeping In A Car” released this past May. Originally from Hertfordshire, England, they’ve spent a great deal of time touring North America to a steadily growing audience of folk-lovers. Tonight they’ve made their Toronto stop at the iconic Lee’s Palace, playing songs from their lauded debut album “Dead & Born & Grown” (released in 2012), “If I Was” (released in 2014), and brand new material. This includes a yet to be released encore number that begins with the line “tired as fuck” which stands to be the most delicately sung curse word to ever grace a Canadian stage.

When the three sisters step to the centre mic to sing all together, a hush falls over the audience. Unlike the majority of Toronto shows I’ve attended, when the music begins, there is no clinking of glasses. There are no conversations attempting to be held over the cacophony of music, the artists battling to be heard over the voices of the concert-goers. Everyone is quiet, in rapt attention. It is magic.

Opening the evening was Illinois-based folk artist Trevor Sensor, who is joining the folk trio for tour dates in Montreal, New York, Washington and Missouri among others. To hear Trevor’s music visit him at

To find out more about The Staves, visit them online at


About author

Brooklyn Doran is a freelance writer and PR consultant based in Toronto, Ontario. She is also a folk singer-songwriter whose music can be found at and on Twitter @brooklyndoran.