“I was going to wear a wedding dress, but I thought that would only be funny for about two minutes” joked Katie Malco to her sold out crowd at The Lexington last Friday night. Comparing her headline show to the nuptials she said she was unlikely to have, the Northampton songwriter delivered passionate renditions of her indie-folk anthems alongside interjections of wry humour – her denim jacket and its leather tassels proving to be a better choice of garment than a white dress anyway.
In contrast to the overcrowded bar downstairs full of World Cup fans, Malco’s audience were the perfect mix of “quiet and energetic” as she acknowledged towards the end of her set. It’s easy to be attentive when someone’s voice is so captivating – her clear vocals and poignant lyrics cutting through at all the right moments. Playing songs from her debut album, Failures, which she described as a mixture of “cock rock and sad ballads” – aka “salads” – Malco opened with the anthemic ‘Animals’, setting the bar high for the rest of her performance.
Despite having to “talk shop” about a few tech problems between songs, Malco and her band played together effortlessly and undeterred by their monitor issues. Usually accustomed to performing alone, the songwriter clearly enjoyed having the backing of a full band to enhance the impact of songs like ‘Let’s Go To War’, ‘September’, ‘TW’ and ‘Brooklyn’. Her “salads” were equally as impressive though, with gentler tracks ‘Night Avenger’ and the tender ‘Peckham’ proving to be real set highlights. She even provided an early festive treat with a solo rendition of ‘Be Good At Xmas’ too.
With a sold out London gig marking the end of her recent UK tour, Malco playfully asked “does this mean I’m a big deal now?” and after that set, we genuinely think she might be.
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Photo Credit: Robin Hardman