I would like to show my utmost thanks to the talented James Brewster for kindly allowing me to use his photos of the gig on my blog. Check out his photography over on his Flickr.
- No Way Out
- Love Is To Die
- Keep It Healthy
- I’ll Start Believing
SUPPORT: The Garden
Many would claim that to be a great band, you must be able to replicate your recorded sound perfectly in a live setting. Immediately, if that were perquisite, a great many bands would be left in the rubble; for many, it is nigh on impossible once their recordings have been layered over and over and mixed to within an inch of its life. There are other bands though, that are best relished in person. Warpaint is one of those bands. Whilst their albums are lucidly exquisite, comprehending it in person is an wholly different experience.
The four-piece delve into their accomplished yet criminally small (2 albums, 1 EP) back-catalogue with aplomb; this is not merely a case of cherry-picking, with songs from both their first album The Fool and 2013’s self-titled effort being aired in equal measure. Fan favourites ‘Undertow’ and ‘Keep It Healthy’ captivate the crowd, whilst tracks such as The Knife-esque ‘Disco//very’ and the rattle and stomp frenzy of ‘Elephants’ whip onlookers into a frolic, so much so that the free-spirited cavorting of a group at the front sparks singers and guitarists Theresa Wayman and Emily Kokal to mimic their dancing as the show progresses.
There is an astute confidence and ease with which the band present their music in this eagerly anticipated first date of their rescheduled 2014 tour. Throughout they laugh, smile and interact with both the crowd and each other, resulting in a an intimate atmosphere that spreads to the back of the room. Between songs, remarks are shared, with Wayman (unexpectedly) stating that she found beauty in the city on a stroll along the canals, and praising the delivery of their ever-impressive drummer, Stella Mozgawa, whose intricate patterns both decorate and cement their unorthodox sound.
Indeed, the rest of the band are on top of their game; bass is best felt, not just heard, and Jenny Lee Lindberg’s grooves pave their set. Setting aside their undeniably impressive intricacies on guitar, Lindberg, Wayman and Kokal whoop, shriek and croon their way through the fourteen songs, their inimitable choral clamour ricocheting around the dark grotto of The Institute. Much hollering and stomping precedes their encore, the band hesitantly airing poppy, recent single ‘I’ll Start Believing’ for only the second time live, before bowing out on the murky whispers of ‘Biggy’. The experience is emotive, lulling, yet somehow euphoric, and one best witnessed in the midst of their rapturous web.