The Blackout Interview

The Blackout

When I met the Blackout last week for Sound City, I was absolutely thrilled. I’m a big fan of their music, but meeting brilliant musicians is something I’m getting more used to. I was so pleased because these guys were lovely. The Blackout are genuine, warm and hilarious, I spent a lovely hour talking to them with Max. All six boys were friendly and polite, not to mention interesting and funny. I haven’t interviewed anyone who made me feel as welcome, and it’s clear they haven’t let their considerable fame and talent go to their heads. Go see The Blackout, buy their album, and follow them on twitter. You really won’t regret it.

Who are the Blackout?
Sean: I’m Sean, I apparently sing sometimes.
Gavin: I’m Gavin, I sing as well
Sean: He sings a lot better than Sean does. Rhys plays bass, Gareth plays drums, Matthew plays guitar and Bob or James, depending on which day of the week it is
Gavin: and how well you know him...
Sean: Plays guitar. We’re a six-piece Welsh band that has no specific genre I guess. We’re not a metal band, or Rock and Roll or pop. But we have elements of all of those. If you can think of a genre, we’ve tried to rip it off. If the music you like is mess, come and check us out. That’s what we sound like. A big mess.

How is the current tour going?
Sean: It’s been great. It blows our minds that we get to do this, and this is our job or whatever. When we started this band, we did it for a laugh, just so we weren’t bored at home anymore, and now people like us and we sell CDs. In the beginning we never even planned to write or make an album, but somehow a label came along and put it out. Every day it blows our minds that people come and see us, and we don’t expect anyone to come, let alone a couple of hundred people, or more. We’re very lucky that our friends in Lostprophets were looking for a support band once, and they chose us, because we were always really big fans of them. So they took us on tour with them, and that opened a door for us to get noticed. Their fans are awesome, and luckily their fans have kind of become our fans.

Your sound is quite similar to theirs.
Sean: Yep, it’s because I write all their stuff.
And how is Ian with that?
Sean: Ian’s fine with that, he’ll pretend in interviews he’s angry about it, but I’ve pretty much written everything he’s ever sung. If there’s a bit in a song where you think “Oh, I don’t like this.” Then it’s probably because he wrote it, or ad-libbed.

With bands like FFAF, Lostprophets, KIGH and you guys, why do you think there’s such a specific sound coming out of Wales at the minute?
Gavin: Mutual boredom.
Sean: Yeah. I think people in South Wales realise that you’ve got to write a good song with a good verse and a brilliant chorus if you can, because we’ve played with so many bands who are just straight up technical metal, trying to play as fast as they possibly can and as many notes as they can in a second. But then, at the end of the day, when you leave the concert after something like that, you can’t remember any of the songs or what happened, just that you saw some guy wanking off a guitar. Whereas, if you come and see us, Kids in Glass Houses, Lostprophets, Funeral for a Friend, any of these Welsh bands, hopefully you’re leaving with an annoying chorus stuck in your head.

It’s a strange sound to be coming out of Wales as well.
Sean: Yeah, I don’t know what it is; there’s just been a surge of good bands that like good songs.
James: I think what it was as well is that some Welsh bands, take Lostprophets for example, we saw them do well, and they were 15 minutes down the road from us, and we thought, if they can do it, why can’t we? So bands see other bands doing well, and they decide to pick up the guitar and have a go.
Sean: We did the same thing Lostprophets did, where they kind of helped us out and took us on the road, and we took other bands out and helped them out. We took Kids in Glass Houses on their first tour, this awesome band called The Guns, and loads of little bands in South Wales that loads of people don’t know about yet as well, that are brilliant and have been for quite a while. Wales is the hub of Britain’s rock.
I saw you in the Barfly five years ago, with Paramore, and you had an awesome stage presence then, which you still have now.
Sean: I was a bit fatter then, so I was a bit slower.
Gavin: We’ve always been a live band first I think, because obviously that is where we started out and...
Sean: And we’re not dead.
Gavin: Oh yeah, we’re not one of these zombie bands you hear about these days. We love playing.
Sean: When we started we were all just about entertainment and the best parts of other bands we saw and bringing it together. After a while we were like “We should get some songs to go along with this stuff...”

You’ve gone from that to being on a small label to being on a much bigger label. Do you think that’s affected your music and the way you play?
Sean: Not really. We went to them with our record, which we self-funded, and they preach a friendly vibe. To them, whatever’s good for the band is fine. At the end of the day, they’ve got Converge, which is just a glorious noise, and I can’t really see Epitaph going to them and saying “Can you write a chorus? Can you write a Lady Gaga song?” So Epitaph are a really good label, who kind of let us do whatever we wanted, like recording in Texas and shooting the video in LA.

What would you say to bands trying to make it?

Sean: The music industry is a load of shit, don’t bother. Get a job in a meat factory instead. The music industry is full of, really, in all honesty, don’t give up. No matter what happens, whether you play to no-one or someone tells you you’re shit, don’t give in. Play everywhere, and anywhere. We’ve lost more money than we’ll ever make back. There were times when we were offered two shows on one day, so we did it. One was in our home town and one was in Bath. We played Cardiff Barfly once, where literally nobody turned up, and the sound guy walked away, and we played to nobody. So yeah, don’t let anybody get you down whether they like the music or not.
Gavin: I think the thing is, also, not to set out as a serious band. Have realistic goals, like our goals were things like “play on a stage” or “play with monitors”.

Do you worry that your look will get you generalised as a certain type of band?
Sean: I don’t know. We dress in black, but we get judged on my hair a lot, which is ridiculous. How can you judge one band on some guy’s floppy hair? Just because you can’t see my forehead...
James: I haven’t got any hair at all, and I don’t get judged on that.

You have a young fan base; do you think that might put some potential fans off?
Sean: I guess it might do. I’m not really a fan of neon colours, but when you go out there it’s... ugh.
Gavin: I heard a horrible thing; apparently our afternoon gig tomorrow is dubbed as a “glow stick party”
[All groan]
Sean: I fucking hate glow sticks.
James: I might not play.
Sean: Anyway, yeah, I know our young fans might put some people off, but once they’ve been, and seen us play, I think they’ll realise.
Gavin: We do have some older fans.

Fair enough. Do you have any new bands you want to take with you if you get big, in the same way that The Lostprophets did for you?
Sean: All of them. There’s literally loads that are really good.
Gavin: It’s not as if they’re all the same genre as well, there’s a band called Revoker,
Matthew: They’ll be taking us on tour soon. They’re really good.
Gavin: We were on to them for ages to change their name, because their name was rubbish,
Sean: They were named after a road, the A470,
Gavin: It sounds like a boy band, like A1 or something.
Sean: So they changed their name to Revoker and
Who did you like going on tour with?
Sean: It’s always brilliant with Lostprophets. We just came off tour with them, in Japan, Australia and Europe. It’s amazing, because basically when you normally go on tour with a band you travel separately, and you get treated differently whether you’re the headline or the support band. But with them, we were being treated exactly the same. We were basically twelve friends on tour together, and we were all sharing accommodation and travelling. There was no rushing us or making us do things, we were just all hanging out.
Gavin: There was no “Lostprophets dressing room” or anything; we were all mixed in together hanging out in each other’s rooms.

Do you prefer to headline a smaller venue, like The Masque, or play larger venues as a support act?
Gavin: Both shows have a different set of merits. The smaller ones, all the kids are in your face, and it’s all sweaty,
Sean: And they’re all there to see you as well, whereas when you support a bigger band, you can win people over. So it’s nice to win people over, but when it’s your own show, they’re there to see you.

It must be strange though, playing something like this in comparison to something like Ponty in the Park, where you’re playing to thousands of people...
Sean: Yeah, that is a bit of a mad one. We’re done loads of strange, massively big festivals. We opened the main stage of Reading in 2008, and there was a sea of people, and that was ridiculous.
Gavin: We played the Give It a Name tour to something like 10,000 people, and then the next week we came back and played Porthcawl (a small town in Wales) to twenty people.
Sean: At that gig, there was a foam machine on as well, and I spent most of my time falling over. So yeah, I think we like winning people over, but at the same time, it’s always amazing to hear people sing your songs back to you.

Who’s the best one on tour?

Sean: James is constantly angry,
James: Not constantly! Just fleetingly, but when I am I’m very, very, very angry.
Gavin: Our sound guy snores. And his feet... The smell is god-awful. So much that he throws his songs away at the end of every day.
James: He literally has a massive carbon footprint. Those socks are doing damage to the ozone layer. Not just in and of them, but in that he goes through so many. That means they have to be packaged, and shipped, and all the rest of it.
Sean: The thing is, if he kept them on, he’d probably be doing more damage.

Do you have a favourite show that you’ve ever played?
Sean: For me, it’s the Astoria in London, before it closed down. That was kind of monumental, because we’d never played it before as a support act or anything.
James: It wasn’t mine, because I had food poisoning, so I was angry, and really weak, so I barely made it through the show. For that reason, I liked the gig we did at Reading last year, when we headlined a stage. As a kid I went to Reading, so, seeing the iconic yellow line-up, it was amazing to see our name, in our font, right at the top of the tent.
Sean: And this year, we’re high on the line-up at Download. Higher up than Sum 41. We’re just going to get onstage and be like “We’re bigger than Sum 41! Ha-ha, fucking brilliant. Play a song.”

Have you got any new covers coming up?
Sean: We’ve just recorded a few, that we’ll probably be used as B sides. We did Beastie Boys – Fight for Your Right, we did Lump by Presidents of the United States of America and we did Save Tonight, by Eagle-Eye Cherry. Yeah we did, and we fucking shat all over it. It’s absolutely terrible. Nah! It’s alright really. We did a cover of “Lap Dance” by N.E.R.D., hoping that strippers would start liking us, but we aren’t allowed to release it, because we can’t get it signed off by N.E.R.D. We love a cover; it’s more fun than playing our own songs. Mind you, all our songs sound like Lostprophets covers anyway.

Are you working on anything new?
James: Mind your own business! [Laughs.] We started working on a record last week. We’ve been writing amongst ourselves for a few months now, and we got together last week, and we’ve already got about three songs in four days.

Do you all have quite similar music taste?
Gavin: There’s a few core bands that we’re all into, like Faith No More and Korn and Limp Bizkit and stuff, and then Sean’s more into electrical stuff and...
Sean: Electric stuff?! Yeah, plug sockets, pylons, Hoovers. I’m a big fan of the wet toaster.
James: Remember when you went to see George Formby grill? Just went down to Homebase and looked at it.
Gavin: Yeah, so there’s different tastes and it all gets chucked into the melting pot,
James: Or the George Forman grill,
Matthew: The blender.
Sean: Yeah, the blender. And then we pour out a smoothie of rock.

There’s also an extended and more explicit version of the interview as an audio file to come, but be warned that if you’re easily offended or have no sense of humour, it’s not for you.

25 sexiest famous people.

Unashamedly inspired by the amazing, amazing, amazing

She did 25, which I could easily do, but I thought I'd spare you all that. I talk about famous people I find like pretty much constantly with my best friends, though luckily they do too. I think I'm pretty brave, considering some of these people I have met, and potentially might meet again. If they bring it up I'll be embarrassed. This isn't any order, but feel free to comment me with opinions and lists!

Unashamedly inspired by the amazing, amazing, amazing

She did 25, which I could easily do, but I thought I'd spare you all that. I talk about famous people I find like pretty much constantly with my best friends, though luckily they do too. I think I'm pretty brave, considering some of these people I have met, and potentially might meet again. If they bring it up I'll be embarrassed. This isn't any order, but feel free to comment me with opinions and lists!

Alyson Hannigan – She’s fully beautiful and ethereal.

April Flores - She's like a living Rubens.

Billy Bragg – He’s smart and I like his music. Those two things tend to be a winner, if you notice.

Bruce Springsteen – Young, though.

Chris T-T - Amazing storyteller through music, bearded and politically aware. Phwoarrrr.

Colin Firth – In Tom Ford’s “A Single Man”

Courtney Love - In the 90s. She's still sexy now, but not for me.

David Tennant - He's my number one.

Frank Turner - Clever boys with guitars are super fine.

Immodesty Blaize – Her tight-laced look is really extreme, which works beautifully and her hair is great.

James Marsters - Aka Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Johnny Galecki – Leonard in the big bang theory. His curly haired smart sexiness is too good.

Katy Perry - Curvy and sweet looking, but you know she's got a filthy sense of humour.

Lady Gaga - She's so weird! I love that.

Liam Frost - I really hope he doesn't read this. His hair is really cool, and he's an amazing singer.

Matt Smith - He's DR WHO. He can save the world. What's not to like?

Zachary Quinto – as Spock, mainly. I’m a nerd.

Poison Ivy - I know, she's not technically real, but shut up.

Rupert Grint - I have a HUGE weakness for ginger people.

Russell Brand - This kind of goes without saying, cos he's like human Marmite.

Simon Pegg - Funny boys are just swoon-worthy.

Stephen Fry – intelligent, handsome, charming.

Vice Suicide – Beautiful tattooed redhead lady.

Zoe Margolis - She is SO funny and clever and smart and knowledgeable about sex. I want to be like her when I grow up.

Billie Piper – Her autobiography was really interesting, and she’s really womanly.

The Mountains and The Trees/Peter Katz/Super Cannes

The Mountains and the Trees played on Saturday night in Leaf to a crowd rapt. Their acoustic folk styling worked perfectly in the relaxed, informal setting and played with heart-warming skill.

This is music at it’s most comforting, and when accompanied by a cold drink on a hot Saturday night, it is very hard to imagine a better way to spend an evening. The homespun songs are sang with truthful storytelling, and lyrics that are simple and endearing.

Cut glass harmonies and a variety of ingeniously timed instrument changes, including banjo, melodica, harmonica and a brilliant bass-drum suitcase perfect for a deliciously muffled beat in an acoustic setting.

When Jo, the female half of The Mountains and The Trees joins in on vocals, there is a modernised Johnny Cash and June Carter vibe to the affair that is familiar and radiant.

The set is far too short, but this is to be expected, after Taiwanese band Tizzy Bac, the first band on, took so long to get onstage that the whole night is somewhat squeezed, with shorter changeovers and rushed set lists.

Peter Katz is a Canadian folk singer of considerable talent, which shone through beautifully on Saturday night. Immediately demanding the rapt attention of a crowd that were previously somewhat restless.

Katz moulds together folky lyrics and tuneful vocals with simple guitar, almost accapella. Many of the songs are given introductions in the form of stories that give their simple beauty a new layer of depth and bring perspective.

There are songs, like the poetic “Fence Song” that have the ability, even on this muggy evening, to send shivers down the spine. Katz manipulates the atmostphere with considerable deftness, and is even able to step away from the microphone to sing without support in this room silent for his voice.

Super Cannes open their set with a deep, rumbling sound that emerges from the guitarist Davy Murphy’s amps like a warning. The opening song swells to strength and as Richie Taylor’s vocals open, there is an awakening in the audience.

The bass and drums of Super Cannes are the anchor points, grounding the unearthly sounds produced by Murphy’s guitar and it’s dazzling array of pedals. This band look like any other typical indie band, but like their sound, all initial judgements are disproven.

Super Cannes are a band have all the element to potentially clash horribly, but live it is clear this band take their music seriously, and work hard to ensure their music flows smoothly. The sound is a physical, shifting thing and there is no doubt that this quartet is destined for big things.

The Pack a.d. , The Young Guns, The Blackout

The Pack a.d. performed swaggering cowboy rocknroll packaged in too cool androgyny. With stamping and shouting tunes, this canadian pair are impossible to ignore. Their combination of punk attitude, crashing cymbals and clanging guitars have notes of early White Stripes and The Clash.

The Young Guns arrived onstage to a crowd indifferent to their presence and left a crowd rapt. Though the vocals are at first weak, once this emocore band get into their stride they are impossible to stop. With catchy hooks and boy-band good looks, The Young Guns are energetic and wild onstage, and clearly destined for emo greatness.

The Young Guns pick up speed, carrying the young crowd with them, and at its fastest, this particular brand of angsty punk demands movement, whether to the music or away. It is an acquired taste, but one perfectly suited to The Masque Theatre’s crowd this evening.

The Blackout storm onto the stage at the start of their set to deafening cheers and high-pitched screams that increase in volume at the appearance of emo teen heartthrob Sean, The Blackout’s talented lead.

The frenzied crowd are quickly whipped into a pulsing mass of sweating energy, as the ceiling starts to drip and the air steams up. Launching headlong into the crowd, the two vocalists are mobbed, zombie-like by a tumult of hands, and the music gears up.

With pounding drums, layered melodies and metal guitars, The Blackout are shining examples of a scene they transcend on talent alone. The hardcore screams, blending seamlessly with catchy choruses and gloriously violent breakdowns.

“That was fucking beautiful” exclaims lead singer Sean as they wrap up the set with their last song, “Save Ourselves”. He’s not wrong.

The Cocabelles & Incasino Out

Some of my friends are good, like tea and biscuits is good; soothing, reliable and pretty much essential to live. Some are good like drugs and alcohol; are not necessarily good, but fun all the same. And some are good like a shot of whiskey in a cup of tea on a cold day. Ta for the photos.

Right, so down to business! Today I saw and interviewed The Cocabelles and Incasino Out, as well as a band I hadn’t heard before, called The Staves. I promise I’ll put the interviews from this week up really soon, probably once Sound City is over.

The Cocabelles have undergone a drastic change in recent weeks, going from three female vocalists to a just one with a backing singer. The band behind her hasn’t changed, and so from tonight’s performance it is difficult to imagine them any other way.

Carina, the remaining member of the original lineup, puts on a spectacle not to be missed. She swept onstage in a full lace bodysuit, Gaga style, resplendent with gorgeous 50’s curls and a scarlet pout to put Monroe to shame.

The music is bluesy and seductive, with a saxophone adding a sophisticated edge to vocals that wouldn’t seem out of place in a speakeasy. Carina is note-perfect, and it is unbelievable that this is only the second time they have played the lineup live.

The highlight of the show was her pared-down version of “Poker Face”, a brave choice but a brilliant twist on the overplayed commercial hit.

The Cocabelles show does not fail to deliver audio to go with the striking visuals.

The Staves were shy and sweet when they spoke, but once this trio of folk sisters began to sing, it is clear they love what they do. The lilting acoustic melodies, played on guitar and ukulele worked beautifully with the haunting and solemn vocals, reminiscent of Laura Marling and Moldy Peaches.

Incasino Out land in the Masque Ink on a wave of crashing, violent noise. They instantly evoke early Biffy Clyro, Million Dead and Your Code Name Is: Milo, despite looking like sweet indie youngsters.

Their post hardcore sound contains all the requisite elements, including a somewhat tuneless vocalist, a thumping and ferocious drummer and a deep, repetitive bass sound, but is the triplet of guitarists that distinguishes their sound from the countless amounts of boys in garages trying to be Fugazi.

Creating between them a maze of melodies, the three guitarists lead the audience into a dark and ramshackle noise, occasionally stopping dead in their tracks to break out riffs that will stay in your memory.
Incasino Out are laying the foundations of something great, and tonight at the Masque Ink they proved they can show their worth live.


Reviews for The Paris Riots and Eliza Doolittle. There's also an interview with Eliza Doolittle on my previous blog, and an interview with TPR to come. Also some photos, courtesy of the unfailingly legendary Max Farnham, and links to the band's websites. I do spoil you all.

The Paris Riots have arrived in Liverpool. Lead singer Toby Connor is a brilliant lead singer, taking over the front room of Bumper as though it is his to keep, mesmerising the crowd with his captivating energy.

There is a clear comparison to be made between Toby Connor and Jim Morrison, with the wailing, distinctive vocals, the exploratory lyrics and the big haired, snake-hipped charm he displays onstage. The Paris Riots are no Doors, however. There are elements of Bloc Party and New Order here, particularly evident in the bone-shaking “Wrecking Ball”.

The real star of the show tonight was clearly Scott McKnight, The Paris Riot’s furious drummer. He may at first appear to be unassuming, but once behind his kit, McKnight takes the elements the rest of the band deliver and tie them together with pounding drums that force you to stomp and sway.

If the quartet took to Bumper’s front room stage tonight with the goal of establishing a Liverpudlian fan base, they can rest assured. Following a slew of mediocre acts, The Paris Riots shattered expectations with primal drumming, charisma and instantly memorable hooks.

Eliza Doolittle is sweet and soulful tonight at Studio Two. The youthful singer strolled onstage to a smattering of polite applause and left to a resounding wave of cheers.

On record, it is all too easy to dismiss Eliza Doolittle as yet another in the line of songstresses relying on looks and catchy manufactured pop, but once you see her live it is clear that Miss Doolittle has a little bit more going on.

In the intimate setting of Studio 2, it would have been all to easy to put the overcrowded and overheated room to sleep, but Eliza Doolittle shook the room up, playing her particular brand of jazzy and soulful summer music. Accompanied by a guitarist/ukelele player, a vibrant drummer and a double bassist/backing singer, the tracks which sound, on record, so MTV friendly took on a new life here.

The songs were less than note perfect, but this worked well in the cosy atmosphere of Studio Two, particularly with the deep notes of the double bass comlementing the high singing, giving the songs a rounded and honest feel. It is in the slower numbers that Eliza Doolittle’s talent shines through, harking back to the jazz numbers of the sixties and showing influences from singers like Nancy Sinatra, Amy Winehouse and Billie Holliday.

Eliza Doolittle challenges the stereotype of the young female pop starlet, and before you judge her on the manufactured hype of hr singles and videos, make sure to see her live.

Eliza Doolittle interview

I managed to steal a quick ten minutes on the phone with Eliza Doolittle, a pop starlet who’s going to be huge later this year when her album gets released. She was lovely, and I can’t wait to see her at Studio Two tomorrow in Liverpool. If you get the chance, come along. Alternatively, you can check out her website or watch the video below for a taster.

How would you describe your sound to someone who had never heard you before?

I’d probably say it’s very summery, and light, but with thoughtful lyrics. They have catchy, fun melodies... it’s pop music, but not cheesy pop music.
What influences you to write the music you do?
Well, I listen to a lot of different music. A lot of soulful stuff, but then again I like the Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead. I listen to a lot of Kinks, Beach Boys and Minnie Ripperton, as well as Stevie Wonder, Janet Jackson, Destiny’s Child...loads of stuff, really.
How do you write your songs?
There are different ways, but I tend to get ideas for a song first, then I’ll work on as melody. I’ll work alone on a piano, then I’ll follow that up by working with producers and writers.
Did you always want to make music?
I was always a musician. Luckily, when I was 16 I got a publishing deal for my writing, and that helped me get by. I was always working towards releasing my first album. I got signed about a year and a half ago.
How many instruments can you play?
I can play piano, but also a little bit of glockenspiel and any number of fun, random little instruments lying around I’ll give them a go. I’m not multi-talented in terms of instruments.
How are you feeling about the new single and how it’s doing?
I feel good about it. I didn’t think ht it would get in the charts at all, so I was really happy that it did.I’ve got another single coming out soon as well, which will be really good.
How is the album coming?

The album has been done since before last summer, but we’ve held it back until now. It’s going to come out on June 28th. I love all the songs in their own individual ways, but my favourite is “In a Smoky Room”, and I try to always get the audience involved with that when I play it live.
How is the tour with Jamie Cullum going?
Really good, yeah. We’ve done four dates now, and it’s really fun. I like playing in London best, because it’s home, and it’s always more relaxing to play at home. I don’t mind what size the venue is though, or whether I’m headlining or supporting, because once you’re onstage it’s your time, and you can do what you want with it.
What are your plans for the next year?
When my album comes out, we’ll put a tour together, and I’m playing a few festivals this year. Hopefully it’ll involve travelling, I like to travel.


Today, I'm feeling nerdy, so I made a wishlist of my favourite square products out there.

Hole review!

Courtney Love took to the stage in Manchester for the first time in her career tonight. Wearing a black pinafore dress and oversized white shirt, as well as sporting her trademark red lipstick and tousled blonde mane, she casts an impressive, if somewhat spectral, figure over the crowd.

As she launches into the slurred opening lines of “Pretty on the Inside” there is a moment, repeated throughout the gig, where the audience breathes a sigh of relief. This is Courtney as we all dreamed she’d be. She seems genuinely pleased to be here, wielding her guitar, standing splay-legged at the front of the stage, giving us the last of her “fucked up voice” that she began to lose in Glasgow a few nights previously.

Pretty on the inside turns, a few lines in, to her rebuilt version of “Sympathy for the Devil”, where Love has included a few verses of her own devising. This blurs into “Skinny Little Bitch”, the single from her newest album. The band are on familiar ground at this point; the current lineup is completely new with the exception of Love, and the latest album is the only work they have produced together.

Safe ground has never been Courtney Love’s territory, however, and she launches into “Miss World” with enthusiasm. As she finishes, she talks to the crowd. “If we suck, fucking deal with it”. Love seems geared up for the new album to be received with hostility, but it is rather received with anticipation. They are songs that are untested and tonight is where they will earn their stripes. The new album works a filler for the big hits in this performance though.

Love stands on stage, her beautifully gravely voice matured and bringing a new depth to songs written nearly twenty years ago. She spreads her arms out like wings and leans into the crowd, basking in the attention. She seems almost shocked by the response she receives, and it is fairly surprising, in even this varied crowd, there is pure adoration her for her.

Halfway through the show, Love’s amp breaks, and she launches into impromptu acoustic performances of Gold Dust Woman and Boys on the Radio. This was followed by a repaired amp and stunning closing tracks “Malibu” and “Asking for It”. The encore is plenty long, with “Make Me Over,

“This was either the best fucking show of your lives or the worst,” announces Love, and she has a point. All that could possibly be wrong failed; a singer losing her voice, technical difficulties, a band unfamiliar with the big hits. But somehow it all works, and Love provides an unmissable performance.