There are plenty of reasons to admire Fever Ray (aka Karin Dreijer) after her sold out show at London’s Troxy last night, but not all of them are based around her electrifying music.
In Fever Ray’s space, she takes care to make sure no-one is an outsider: everyone is welcome in her warped and wonderful world.
Before the gig, signs around the venue explicitly stated she wanted fans not to use their phones to document the evening and immerse themselves in her performance. The same signs requested that women come to the front and taller people stand back if obscuring a shorter person’s view. Outside of the toilets, another sign indicated that for the duration of the night, toilet facilities were trans-friendly spaces and trans fans were free to use the bathroom they felt aligned with their gender identity.
Emerging from the lights in her trademark “I heart
Swedish girls” t-shirt and bare scalp, she plunged in to ‘An Itch’ as her crystal clear vocals swept across her excited crowd. From start to finish, the sound was flawless: each lyric, synth sequence, and drum beat distinct and easily discernible from the next. She delivered only a simple “Hello” or “Thank You” between songs – scarcely interrupting the torrent of sound.
She tore through ‘A Part Of Us’ and ‘When I Grow Up’, before performing ‘Mustn’t Hurry’ and ‘This Country’ with full fervor. The politically charged lyrics on the latter: “Free abortions and clean water / destroy nuclear / destroy boring” were echoed back by the crowd, and erotically charged line “this country makes it hard to fuck” was passionately reciprocated too.
Plunge‘s lead single ‘Wanna Sip’ sounded every inch as intense live, followed by ‘I’m Not Done’, the superb ‘Red Trails’ and the ominous ‘Concrete Walls’. The luscious “To The Moon & Back” came next, with it’s upbeat electronics buoyant lyrics, bleeding into the infectious ‘IDK About You’. The eerie ‘Keep The Streets Empty For Me’ was a fitting penultimate track and prepared fans for a powerful encore of ‘If I Had A Heart’ and ‘Mamma’s Hand’.
Fever Ray’s fierce, focused, full-on performance at the Troxy proved she’s an inimitable talent with a vision, generosity and energy unlike any other. Simply put: if you weren’t there, you missed out.
Support came from the the fluorescent and fabulous Bunny.