Friday, 30 October 2009

Bat For Lashes - HMV Picture House, Edinburgh 20th Oct 2009

Support act, Yeasayer, was an obvious choice since Natasha Khan collaborated with the Brooklyn band during the production stage of her last album, Two Suns.

Their special brand of apocalyptic psych rock initially seemed to meet with a degree of bewilderment. However, the cheers from the Edinburgh audience seemed to grow as the set progressed, with debut-album gems ‘Wait for the Summer’ and ‘Sunrise’ standing out.

As it’s the last night of the current tour I was wondering what kind of performance we were about to get. However, Natasha Khan gracefully floats barefoot onto the stage and immediately launches into a number that’s full of dramatics, with lightning bolt flashes and thunderous drums and kind of answers that question for me.

Straight away it’s pretty obvious that this girl can really sing, and sing beautifully at that, no coarse or strained vocals, given it’s the last night. Natasha Khan and her band are completely professional, effortlessly recreating the musical complexities of her two critically acclaimed albums, 2006's Fur And Gold, and 2009's Two Suns.

Her songs are fantastical tales with driving rhythms and atmosphere in abundance but dynamic drummer Sarah Jones almost stole the limelight in up-tempo tracks like Glass, Pearl’s Dream and the slow-building Siren Song, but Khan deservedly pulls focus with her stunning renditions of the more measured Horse and I and Prescilla.

Although the band was as tight as you'd expect at the end of a tour, the whole performance was a bit lacklustre there was something missing. It felt as though they were just going through the motions as it was rarely uplifting and never engaging with Khan’s stage presence less than commanding.

Reviewer: Starlet

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