Wild Flag, The Lexington, London (4/5)

4.00

 

Five years after riot grrrl mavens Sleater-Kinney announced news of their indefinite hiatus and two of the band's core members -larger-than-life guitarist turned writer Carrie Brownstein and drummer Janet Weiss - are back with a new musical endeavour which threatens to blow all other previous projects clean out of the water.

Add to this the unparalleled talent of Helium's Mary Timony and keyboardist Rebecca Cole -on hand for 60s-inspired organ ditties - and Wild Flag are certainly ripe for hero worship. Considering the magnitude of their collective musical prowess, they've raised the bar pretty high from the off, their mere formation provoking widespread frenzy among voracious indie fans long before a single recording had even made it out alive. Released in September, Wild Flag's eponymous debut is undeniably as good as the sum of its parts and arguably there is little left to prove; tonight's sold-out show at The Lexington is simply a chance for fans to see their beloved idols in the flesh again.

A dazzling vision in sequins and denim, the foursome appear confident and self-assured from the get go, leaping onto the stage with a spring in their step and at once demonstrating their insatiable eagerness to perform. Sharing subtle nods of approval throughout, any 'supergroup' associations are well placed tonight as the brawny, well-oiled quartet take us on a high velocity ride through their no-holds-barred ten-track LP, giving their all to a set peppered with the occasional anecdote and humble declarations of gratitude. They delve deep into seemingly endless pools of energy and gusto, never once dropping a smile or tripping up over notes, and all the while displaying an impenetrable, cast iron synergy that comes in part from the interconnectedness of their respective projects and from years of playing music. They're a dab hand at it all, it must be said.

Emitting an iridescent shadow from behind her keyboard perch, Rebecca Cole's hair swishing and organ grinding really come into their own on 'Endless Talk' and the formidable stomp of 'Electric Band' - with its widescreen indie guitar panorama - truly befits the live setting. There's wigging out galore on 'Glass Tambourine' and 'Racehorse' - Brownstein's writhing histrionics set against Timony's restrained prog outbursts as their guitars interlock - and 'Romance' boasts an on stage camaraderie which suspends the quartet from lofty supergroup to laid-back high school garage band.

Finishing up with two covers - The Stones' 'Best of Burden' ("one of the best UK bands ever", says Brownstein) and The Ramones' 'Judy is a Punk' - sadly divides a hipster-heavy audience. But while a small handful of gig goers quaff with cynicism at the novelty of their apparently controversial song choices, the rest take them on face value and leave the show tonight with a deeper understanding of just what it is this band are about; unpretentious, deftly executed, maximum voltage, female fronted rock and roll.

Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week