Live Review: Michachu And The Shapes

Hoxton Bar and Kitchen
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The Independent Culture

Micachu (real name Mica Levi) is a precociously talented newcomer. The punk experimental songwriter from East London studies composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and recently the London Philharmonic Orchestra played one of her avant-garde pieces at theRoyal Festival Hall.

She is also Matthew Herbert’s latest protégé: the producer renowned for working with REM, Serge Gainsbourg and Björk, won the bidding war to sign her to his label Accidental. In another plaudit, Björk phoned to congratulate the 21-year-old after a gig.

Tonight playing with her two-piece band The Shapes, she creates unique songs merging grime, folk, punk and electronica, from the most unusual instruments (try mini guitars and a vacuum cleaner for starters).

Dressed in unfussy loose T-shirt and jeans, she spits out her quirky lyrics, “I feel likemy whole life just fell out of one eye”, like a true young punk. As Raisa Khan bashes out the bleepy catchy synth to “Sweet Heart”, with Marc Pell providing the erratic drum beats, Micachu strums her mini guitar. Wildly inventive, she merges the song into “Just In Case” which winningly changes tempo and melody as often as the Flaming Lips, displaying her panache for arrangement. In “Turn Me Well”, the vacuum cleaner played into the mic adds ambient sound to the mix. A true original.