You write the reviews: Bat for Lashes, Carling Academy 2, Liverpool
Thursday 12 June 2008
All music is a journey, but the audience at this show truly were transported to somewhere dark and enchanting. After the surprisingly strong support act, folky Leeds singer-songwriter Paul Marshall, who was accompanied by a female double-bass player and whose deft guitar picking was reminiscent of Jose Gonzalez, a ghostly white apparition drifted on to the stage. The previously quiet crowd roared in rapture and expectation at the entrance of Natasha Khan, aka Bat for Lashes.
From the beginning, Khan was magnetic (as were the Blue Dreams, her backing band, whose male members were dressed as bats and the females as forest-dwelling creatures), wearing a white gown bathed in green, blue, red and yellow lights. On "Horse and I", the second number, Khan's voice soared and wailed, while the song's simple keyboard rhythm helped to establish an eerie mood. The military beat of Alex Thomas's drums kicked in alongside the saw-playing by the violinist, Katherine Mann.
"The Wizard" was another highlight, with Khan, as she spun her story, gliding purposefully in her moccasin slippers, extending her hands and playing charms, her voice reminiscent of Tori Amos. Mid-song, she drifted to the back to play percussion, all the while chanting intensely, while Mann exchanged her violin for clarinet.
"I Saw a Light" was transcendental. The mantra of "I saw a light/ I saw a light/ Coming through the trees" built to a climax with the phrase "death in your arms", as the drums beat powerfully and Khan's vocals exploded. She then introduced some new songs, one of which captured the spirit of Radiohead, others that were dancier. All were as well received by the crowd as the hits, such as "Prescilla".
The band then left as the crowd wailed for an encore. They got it in the shape of the quietly haunting "Moon and Moon", on which Khan whispered "I'd be boy and you'd be girl", while Caroline Weeks and Katherine Mann gleefully provided backing vocals. "What's a Girl to Do?" made for a very grand finale, with Khan and Mann facing each other, ritualistically taking turns to bang on a snare drum.
Touring to 29 Jun (www.batforlashes.com/live)
Eli Regan, student, Warrington
E-mail your 500-word review of an arts event of your choice to firstname.lastname@example.org. For terms and conditions, see www.independent.co.uk/freelanceterms
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre