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16th October 2013

Live: CocoRosie

CocoRosie put on an impressive show, but the music side is lacking.

Academy 2

29th September


CocoRosie hail from a distinctly different background, all spirit animals and home schooling, and it shows. Sisters Sierra and Bianca Cassidy make up half of CocoRosie’s live band, supplemented by keys and a beatboxer.

Keys enter first, segueing so well from the ambient noises playing before their appearance that it’s barely noticeable. Sierra follows, waving her hands about before wailing in to the microphone like a hippy Siouxie Sioux. After this is the Beatboxer followed by Bianca, wild of hair like her sister. The stage is set up with a clothes line, featuring the contents of an idiosyncratic dressing up box, and the sisters pull on clothes from this throughout the set. This dress up continues when they put on some outré make up in a centre stage mirror, action which we see projected through the staging of some innovative live visuals.

All these distractions make the music second place. If they were on a bare stage in jeans and t-shirts, the genuine pop heart of their music would be clearer, but their distinctiveness muted. In such a long set, the songs begin to feel similar, with a change in tempo, a kooky vocal, a wailing banshee. However, tracks such as ‘RIP Burn Face’ demand attention. As Sierra sings this in the mirror we can see an expressive and moving performance from a greatly talented singer. Even Bianca’s vocals, which can jar on record, are tempered somewhat and her abilities as a vocalist are clear.

Their endearing kookiness is infectious, and quickly punctures any cynicism of this free spirited performance. The crowd get involved, and surrounded by unconscious dancing it’s impossible not to join in, with mum dancing meeting fear and loathing style moves. However, whilst the dedicated fans can’t get enough and shout for a second encore, for a more ambivalent spectator, it’s definitely time to leave.

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