Photos: Bat for Lashes @ Neumos

Bat for Lashes played an ethereal concert at Neumos, Wednesday 26 August, supported by Oklahoma band Other Lives.

Other Lives

Neumos was the perfect intimate venue for such a lineup, and Other Lives’ frontman Jesse Tabish used it to his advantage.  The band featured a prominent string section with both a violin and a cello, and complimented with an organ, piano and intricate guitar melodies.

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I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this wasn’t a one-trick twee ensemble, no matter how much plaid was on display.  To the contrary, the band produced an immense wall of sound that I found both engaging and experimental.  I will definitely be keeping an eye on this band – their self-title debut album is available now.

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Having warmed up the crowd, Natasha Khan took to the stage as one truly comfortable and in their element.  Touring band members were Sarah Jones on drums, Ben Christophers on organ/autoharp, and Charlotte Hatherley on bass/guitar – if her name rings a bell, note that she is a former member if Irish rockers Ash, as well as a solo artist in her own right.

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The stage was decked out to create the kind of haunting wonderland in which so many of Bat for Lashes’ songs are set – lit tealight candles were placed around the stage, as well as three Virgin Marys, a solitary Jesus Christ figurine, and this charming raven.  Fairy lights crept their way up amplifiers, and lengths of tinsel coiled around mic stands.  The kitchy kooky decor was completed with a huge backdrop depicting – what else? – a howling wolf emblazoned in velvet.

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The crowd was captivated as Khan presented offerings from both albums, in a fairly short set.  Quickly kicking off her shoes, Khan proved to have a confident stage presence as she fluidly twirled and writhed around the small stage; caught up in her own uninhibited wavelength.

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If Bat for Lashes is another of Khan’s alter-egos, then it should be noted that she is unwavering when staying in character.

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Highlights included ‘Sarah’, ‘The Wizard’, and ‘What’s a Girl To Do?’.  Sultry, bass-heavy percussion complemented Khan’s voice perfectly, and the live backing band added an extra dimension that rounds out Bat for Lashes a little more than her recorded offerings.  Hatherley provided backing vocals, as well as accompanying Khan while they shared a piano earlier in the set.

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Setlist:

  1. Intro
  2. Glass
  3. Sleep Alone
  4. Horse & I
  5. Travelling Woman
  6. Siren Song
  7. Wizard
  8. Trophy
  9. Sad Eyes
  10. Tahiti
  11. What’s A Girl To Do
  12. Pearl’s Dream

Encore:

  1. Prescilla
  2. Good Love
  3. Moon & Moon
  4. Two Planets
  5. Daniel

You can view more photos from this concert here.

By Nicky Andrews

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CD Review: Concrete Class by The Lonely H

The Lonely H released their latest CD, Concrete Class this summer. It’s satisfying to hear a band as consistently great as this. They’ve released three CDs since 2006. Their first was Kick Upstairs, which was followed by Hair in 2007. How do you follow up the high rock of these CDs, whose favorites of mine are the fabulous Draconius, Zelda, For Barbara, Hair, and Captain? You do it with something a bit different and yet something that does not jar with your previous work. The Lonely H has achieved this with the varied Concrete Class.

Concrete Class is mostly bluesy where their previous songs leaned towards the classic rock sound. It still rocks, just in a slightly different way. The Lonely H’s music has always struck me as very classic and free from artificiality. Out West combines the blues with the very best rock. Singer Mark Fredson’s voice is in a deeper register on these songs and it suits him just as beautifully well as the higher pitches of the band’s earlier CDs. From the galloping rhythm in Cold Blues to the awesome Out West and Diggin’ a Hole, to the cleansing The River, the CD is an adroit creation. Songs of particular moment for me are Take Care and Singer, both songs that tell stories you must listen to from beginning to end – there’s no just checking in midway for these songs. These songs should just swell up inside you.


Concrete Class (The Control Group)

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Photos: Cage the Elephant @ the Showbox

Cage the Elephant played the Showbox on Sunday. The band is from Kentucky and includes two brothers, Matt and Brad Schultz. And if you’re a human, once you hear Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked or Tiny Little Robots or anything by this group you’re hooked. I am really happy that photographer Amber Barni brought this band to my attention. She’s seen them many times and caught them again at their Showbox performance and took some photos that whirl.








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Show Preview: Bat for Lashes @ Neumos on Wednesday, August 26th

Daniel, by Bat for Lashes is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. I am sure you’ll be able to hear it live tomorrow in Seattle when Bat for Lashes plays Neumos. Bandleader Natasha Khan, in addition to her musical talent, has this incredible 1960s goddess gorgeousness about her.


photo courtesy of Bat for Lashes

Bat for Lashes, Daniel:

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Photos: Santigold @ the Pacific Industrial Center

Santigold was at the Pacific Industrial Center in SoDo on Sunday night. I think that’s awesome. As much as I like a proper and cool venue, I like it when artists play at venues that aren’t your usual venue. I also love purple things. Purple things such as this outfit Santigold’s got on in these lustrous photos by Alex Crick.



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