Get In Her Ears Live @ Notting Hill Arts Club w/ Alyss 01.12.18

Get In Her Ears returned to West London’s Notting Hill Arts Club on Saturday night to host another successful night full of alternative electronic music. For our second gig at the venue, we chose Alyss to headline; with support coming from the brilliant Elsa Hewitt, Temples of Youth and Varley.

First up were Berlin-based trio Varley, who played a beautiful stripped back set to an appreciative, respectfully quiet crowd. Vocalist Claire-Ann Varley’s gentle, clear voice was perfectly accompanied by the acoustic & electric guitar sounds of bandmates Matthias Heising & Joschka Bender. When she cautiously asked for a little audience participation during one particular song, she was rewarded with attempts to mimic her soft voice, and the trio left the stage to well deserved and rapturous applause.

 

 

Up next were our favourites, electronic duo Temples Of Youth, who (as always) performed a stunning set. Jo & Paul’s blend of old and new songs – including ‘Darker Places’, the title track from their latest EP – captivated the crowd with their ambient guitar sounds and Jo’s standout vocals. We never tire of seeing these two live, and we were thrilled to have them on the bill with other talented electronic artists.

Penultimate act Elsa Hewitt was a one woman music machine. She played a hypnotising set, which included her latest single ‘Invisible Threads’. It’s always a pleasure to watch artists lose themselves within their own sound, and watching Elsa perform her intricate tuning and triggering, whilst simultaneously performing her soft vocals so seamlessly was a genuine pleasure to witness. We were so caught up in her soundscapes we lost track of time, and as we gently ushered her set to a close, electro-pop Queen Alyss took centre stage.

Clad in a shiny cape and black-rimmed hat, headline act Alyss dominated the stage with her powerful vocals and uncompromising attitude. Performing as a one woman band, she had the room packed full of fans who were dancing along to her pop hooks and bouncing beats.

Huge thanks to the bands and to Notting Hill Arts Club, and extended thanks to all those who donated their spare change on the door to National AIDS Trust on #WorldAIDSday – we appreciate your generosity!

Keep your eyes peeled for more gig announcements from us soon.

Photo Credit: Jon Mo Photography

LIVE: Zola Jesus – Omeara, London 05.11.18

Zola Jesus stunned her sold out crowd at Omeara on Tuesday night as she appeared shrouded in red, delivering her flawless operatic vocals. Her performance embodied the promise she made during second song ‘Soak’ – “You should know I would never let you down” – and her rendition of the track made our gothic hearts bleed.

She took to the stage after Ah! Kosmos, who performed a stunning one-woman-show in an equally stunning sequin blazer. The Istanbul-born artist gave a masterclass in how to perform electronic music solo, and was the perfect warm up for Zola Jesus’ eager crowd.

Whilst on stage, the Sacred Bones signee said she was “chuffed” to be in “Blighty” and was happy to talk between songs about TV show Nathan Barley and the shortcomings of British Airways (who had lost her guitarist’s luggage earlier that day). Her set was laced with penetrating vocals that rang out across her hypnotised audience, and included an emotive dedication to her Uncle who recently survived a suicide attempt.

The blend of industrial and classical elements in Zola Jesus’ music translated well live, and she was accompanied by a violinist and guitarist for the duration of her set. Her tortured but tentative lyrics on ‘Skin’ and ‘Exhumed’ as well as the hypnotic, off-kilter, bouncing synths on ‘Bound’ provided fans with an eclectic mix of old and new material, and an opportunity for the performer to remove her red cloak, and break the fourth wall towards the close of her set.

Her lyrical lamentations about disconnection are made all the more powerful by her altruistic voice. Recorded, her vocals are striking enough – but to hear them live is confirmation that Zola Jesus truly has a divine set of lungs. If you weren’t there to hear her at Omeara, you missed out on a mesmerising performance from this warped and wonderful artist. A definite live highlight of 2018.

Follow Zola Jesus on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LIVE: The Joy Formidable – The Lexington, 22.08.18

Almost six years to the day since they last played the venue, The Joy Formidable made a triumphant return to The Lexington to perform to a sold out crowd on Wednesday night. Ritzy, Rhydian and Matt are masters of loud-and-quiet alternative anthems, and despite being absent from the London live scene recently; the trio have lost none of their momentum.

Opening their set with the riotous and rarely played ‘Greyhounds In The Slips’, the band tore through the song with impressive precision and energy. ‘I Don’t Want To See You Like This’ followed, before the all-encompassing ‘The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade’ took hold – filling the venue with foot-thumping and chants of appreciation. At the close of the song, guitarist & vocalist Ritzy, and bassist Rhydian addressed the “familiar faces” in their crowd, and banter about her “mountain troll” clumsiness – as well as drummer Matt’s intake of walnuts and whisky – drew hearty laughs from their loyal fans.

After this brief hiatus, the trio eased in to ‘Ostrich’. Unlike the recorded version, this rendition hosted a calmer intro; reflecting Ritzy’s words about the song’s theme of “moving on and forgiving” people. The pay-off was still every inch as powerful, so nothing was lost in the translation. With their fourth album AAARTH due for release next month, the band then showcased some of their new material – including their latest single ‘The Wrong Side’ – which rang out with trademark Joy Formidable intensity.

Hitch single ‘This Ladder Is Ours’ thundered through shortly after, before the band briefly left the stage, returning for a knockout encore. Between the blur of ‘Buoy’ (which was given similar treatment to ‘Ostrich’) and final track ‘Whirring’, the band took some time to remind fans that next year marks the tenth anniversary of the release of their debut EP, A Balloon Called Moaning. Ritzy promised TJF would be celebrating the occasion with some intimate acoustic shows, then promptly apologised for not playing the acoustic dates she promised last time she was in town, when the band played at Oslo in Hackney.

In one final six minute frenzy of riffs and raucous drumming, the band threw themselves and their instruments around the stage during ‘Whirring’, leaving their crowd fired up with the promise of seeing them in town again soon. The Joy Formidable have been on the musical radar for almost a decade, and last night’s performance proved they’ve got another decade’s worth of raw live power in them.

Support came from the wonderful Bryde – who performed with a full band – who TJF heartily praised.

Pre-order your copy of The Joy Formidable’s AAARTH here.
Follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut