Neneh Cherry, gig review: A musical triumph

Concrete, London

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The Independent Culture

“Whose that gigolo on the street?,“ the rejuvenated singer maintains to a chorus of whoops in this intimate space.

Neneh Cherry's showcasing her outstanding new album, Blank Project, but blissfully, thankfully she performs a thoroughly modern version of ”Buffalo Stance“ for her encore.

I've waited 26 years to hear this perfect pop song live and the Swedish songwriter, resplendent in a tangerine dress, doesn't disappoint, pulling dance moves like it's 1988.

Cherry, 50 next month, is still as vital and confrontational as she ever was and Blank Project, produced by Four Tet's Kieran Hebden and backed by Walthamstow's techno duo RocketNumberNine (Ben and Tom Page who perform with Cherry tonight), is a ceaselessly inventive trip-hop delight. Which isn't to say it's not murky and unnerving. It is, and feels like the album Massive Attack or Tricky should be making, full of experimental beats and menacing bass.

Standout tracks are the lament “Blank Project” (“Too many times you come crawl, then say sorry too late”), the infectious “422” and the fuzzy distortion of “Weightless”.

It's been a staggering 18 years since her last solo album, Man, but vocally she remains splendidly persuasive and musically this is a triumph. “Who's looking good today? Who's looking good in every way...”