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 afterΒ 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.

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Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LIVE: The Big Moon – Omeara, NME Awards Nominations Party, 17.01.18

They may have based their bitter-sweet new single ‘Happy New Year’ around memory loss, but The Big Moon‘s set at Omeara on Wednesday night was far from forgettable. The band played the intimate venue as part of the NME Awards Nominations Party; and their garage-rock belters and contagious enthusiasm kept the crowd bouncing from start to finish.

Introduced by NME Deputy Editor Tom Howard as “really great, and a little bit tipsy” the band kicked things off with summery anthem ‘Silent Movie Susie’. What followed was a set-list brimming with tracks from their Mercury Prize nominated debut album, Love In The 4th Dimension.

Established singles like ‘The Road’ and ‘Sucker’ sounded as fresh as ever, whilst newer releases ‘Formidable’, ‘Cupid’ & ‘Pull The Other One’ were delivered with equal parts precision and charm. The riotous ‘Bonfire’ was the clear fan favourite though, and when vocalist Juliette broke the fourth wall and made her way in to the middle of the crowd – fans faces lit up.

The Omeara show marked the band’s first gig of 2018, and they thanked fans for coming out to join them on their “rusty roller-coaster”. As an unexpected treat, they covered Bonnie Tyler’s classic ballad ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ in their own joyful, laid-back style, before closing the night with ‘Sucker’.

The Big Moon have an envious ability to charm and impress a crowd with their retrospective indie tunes, and they left everyone* (*us) with heart-shaped eyes at the end of the night.

Vote for The Big Moon in the ‘Best Video’ category of the 2018 NME Awards!

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut