Dirty Projectors, Koko, London
Friday 10 December 2010
Dirty Projectors have been cutting a defiant swathe through the indie scene, in various guises, for the past eight years, gathering an impressive list of collaborators along the way. So it comes as something of a surprise when front man, and the axis around which Dirty Projectors revolves, David Longstreth reveals to the audience that their first UK show was as recent as 2007. Following the release of last year's "Bitte Orca", sixth out of seven albums from Longstreth, it's almost impossible to imagine a time before Dirty Projectors, so established is their talent.
Tall and faintly awkward, Longstreth strolls on stage, gives the crowd a "Hey" and then launches into the opening blips and bleeps of "I Will Truck", the first track in what turns out to be a spectacular set. "No Intention" and "Two Doves" are flawless, and a funked-up version of Bob Dylan's "As I Went Out One Morning" gets the crowd bobbing their heads and waving their arms in almost religious fervour.
Although Longstreth is the creative engine that drives Dirty Projectors it is the siren-like vocals of trio Amber Coffman, Haley Dekle and Angel Deradoorian that are the stars this evening. Producing harmonies so faultless and complex it is almost impossible to believe there isn't some technical wizardry afoot, their hypnotic voices blast from the stage, intoxicating the audience from the very first note. Coffman gets to show off her impressive pipes still further during set highlight "Stillness Is the Move", where she takes on the Beyoncés and Mariahs of this world and skilfully disposes of both, throwing in some R&B posturing for good measure.
Cerebral without being pretentious, Dirty Projectors are magnificent, leaving the audience with a sense of having experienced something very special indeed.
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