Tue 1 Nov – Lykke Li, First Aid Kit
I once read that Lykke Li cannot perform unless she is dressed in an atmospheric outfit, usually in black, layered in fabrics, and tonight was no exception. The gig began with whining, haunting electro accompanied by white strobe lights punching the empty stage which was cast in shadow. Black ribbons hung over the stage like black lace, as Lykke Li and members of her band slowly entered.
Silhouetted against this backdrop Li launched into I'm Good I'm Gone, her vocals filling the vast space of the Roundhouse impressively. Next came Sadness Is A Blessing (a link for the video of which can be found below), working new album Wounded Rhymes seamlessly alongside songs from her debut album Youth Novels.
Unusually she sang I Follow Rivers only three songs in, arguably her most impressive composition to date, which I would have expected for the encore. She wrapped herself in and out of the flowing ribbons throughout. Stockholm (dance dance dance) got everyone in the place moving.
Then saw a collaboration with support act First Aid Kit to perform Silent My Song, where the stage became a sort of celebration of Swedish music. You half expected Robyn and The Knife to burst in at some point; indeed an instrumental version of The Knife's Silent Shout did actually punctuate the middle of the show. I Know Places was followed by Little Bit, an incredible song which Li managed to carry off with what seemed like only a little bit of help from backing vocals considering the higher pitch of this song. Male members of the audience enjoyed the vulnerable delivering of the line 'And for you I keep my legs apart/ And forget about my tainted heart', missing the tragic undertones over lewd suggestion for a minute.
Get Some saw Li almost chant 'Like a shotgun/ Needs an outcome/ I'm your prostitute/ You gon' get some.' Love Out Of Lust is beautiful, as Li sings 'Dance while you can' and continues to really be about seizing the all or nothing moment in love. Rich Kids Blues is a tune that gets completely under your skin, resonating all too much with a crowd of 20 something yuppies, 'I've got the rich kid blues/ And it's got nothing to do with you.' This was one of the moments where Li's interaction with her drummer, who she placed center-stage, really was great to watch. At other points in the show she smashed the symbols and whipped her hair in a rhythmic trance.
Youth Knows No Pain was a considerable highlight, towards the end of the song descending into Kanye West's POWER as Li belted the lyrics out through a megaphone. The encore was simple, first performing Possibility; a song that Li wrote for the cult following Twilight movie franchise, exploring a brief love affair that has broken down, 'There's a possibility/ All that I had/ Is all I'm gonna get' followed by Unrequited Love. The lasting impression, therefore, being of a girl who is definitely hurting.
"Yeah, I know your hands will clap" came the lyrics in Li's opening song, my only criticism would be that she left few gaps for us to have the chance to clap, and we definitely would have.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xu-b3u5jDiU