Bat for Lashes played an ethereal concert at Neumos, Wednesday 26 August, supported by Oklahoma band 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If Bat for Lashes is another of Khan’s alter-egos, then it should be noted that she is unwavering when staying in character.
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.
- Sleep Alone
- Horse & I
- Travelling Woman
- Siren Song
- Sad Eyes
- What’s A Girl To Do
- Pearl’s Dream
You can view more photos from this concert here.
By Nicky Andrews