Sleeping States and Blonde RedheadEdit this event
- Koko, Camden Town »
There’s mystery here, for sure. A fringed character bathed in shadow is slinking about the stage like an eerie puppet with Björk drunk at the controls, or like the girl that crawls out of the telly in Ring, her ethereal moan accentuating the jewelled tips of a gliding musical panorama which ushers you down into a world of exquisite sadness.
The lady in question is Kazu Makino, and the band is Blonde Redhead, fresh from turning in a strong album of the year contender a full fifteen years on from relatively inauspicious beginnings as no-wave indebted noise mongers.
Tonight their charms are abundantly clear: ravishing, lonely, pulled by strange tides, Blonde Redhead’s resplendent melancholy offers solace in oblivion, waving even as it drowns in an ocean of tears. Music to draw up close like a blanket.
The extra-terrestrial Motown of ‘Silently’ is intimate and impossibly remote as a lovers’ embrace, warm and beautiful as an Arctic sunrise. The Concretes would be an obvious reference point, but in tone it more closely resembles a guitar-driven cousin of those other adventurers in the chill mysteries of the heart, The Knife.
The hypnotic, Stereolab swoon of ‘23’ is all chilly, looped piano chords and siren-like vocals, while Amedeo Pace wraps his Thom Yorke-esque vocals around the descending bluesy chords of ‘Publisher’ to great effect._
The set bears almost no trace of their difficult origins, and even the scarcely-dotted older songs remain driven and focussed, the shoegazey noise effectively marshalled into a refreshingly song-driven set, heightening the sense of mystery surrounding the band rather than cloaking its deficiencies.
Perhaps it’s this song-centric approach that means a dearth of older material goes relatively unnoticed, instilling the same sense of dewy-eyed wonderment which pervades that remarkable last LP, leaving fans savouring every last, preciously-wrought drop.
- In Photos: Blonde Redhead @ Union Chapel, London
- Spotifriday #99 featuring Rufus Wainwright, Prince, Biffy Clyro, Weezer...
- Listen: Download free Blonde Redhead remix EP
- Drowned in Chicago #3: Summer 2011 Edition
- Watch: Blonde Redhead 4AD Session - 'Oslo'
- Blonde Redhead - Penny Sparkle
- Listen: Stream new Blonde Redhead album on NPR a week before release
- Watch: Blonde Redhead - 'Here Sometimes' 4AD session track