31st October 2011
I don’t mind gigs being postponed if there’s a genuine reason – and by a genuine reason, I mean something along the lines of the band not being released from the cells in time, collapsing in a pool of their own vomit or even falling out of a coconut tree a la Keith Richards back in 2006. Lykke Li, then, was certainly pushing the limits of my goodwill when she called off this show at twenty-four hours notice back in April because of a back injury – caused, in truly rock n’ roll style, by an unfortunate fall in Marks and Spencer. Fully recovered and taking the stage in outrageously dramatic fashion with an intro that uses strobe lighting and thumping bass like they’re going out of fashion, the Swedish songstress is clearly hell-bent on making up for lost time.
Playing in support of her second record, February’s Wounded Rhymes, Lykke hasn’t allowed tonight’s relatively intimate setting to temper her appetite for theatrics; emerging against a striking backdrop, she launches into the stormy ‘Jerome’, all menacing synths and throbbing drums, before dropping fan favourite, and breakthrough single, ‘I’m Good, I’m Gone’ for a full-scale singalong. It’s one of just three tracks from her debut Youth Novels LP to make the cut tonight; only ‘Little Bit’ and ‘Dance Dance Dance’ punctuate a set dominated by new material, which is certainly far better suited to the show’s brooding atmosphere. As a live performer, Lykke’s a genuine revelation, from banging a floor tom like a woman possessed on the lyrically-provocative ‘Get Some’ to pouring out her weary heart on the encore of ‘Unrequited Love’. The evening’s only drawback, then, is that she’s with us for not much more than an hour; far too short, but still very sweet, and certainly worth the wait.
Lykki Li – I Follow Rivers