Erica Nockalls at Islington Academy
With the recent release of her debut solo album, Imminent Room, Erica Nockalls is not only playing together with The Wonder Stuff, but is also their supporting act throughout the month of April on their UK tour. However enthused die-hard fans may be, her opener at the Islington Academy did little to ready the audience for the night ahead.
With her back to the crowd, the tall, slim blonde hardly epitomises the average conservatoire trained violinist. With her faux mohawk, black denim vest and pink tutu, you might assume she’s just another rock artist, but Nockalls creates an elegant take on the classical genre unlike any other. Along with the instrumental accompaniment of Nicole Fermie on electric guitar, Laura Kidd on bass guitar and Dei Elfryn on drums, the band is successful in producing a distinguished rock genus of their very own. The way in which the drum and bass reverberate in the second number, through the floors and into the chest, is enough to get the most fatigued crowd going – or so you would think.
Despite her hardcore vibe and lively facial expressions, dispersed onlookers generally listened quietly, physically and emotionally unmoved.
The show’s major sticking point was the inability to distinguish Nockalls’ lyrics from the instrumentals, making the content of her material impossible to appreciate. It’s as though the venue was almost too small to house such lurid tracks. What’s more, the singer failed to entice the audience even at the most superficial level. Throughout her execution of Manikin, the singer was buoyant with attitude, as she took charge of vocals and switched from violin to guitar. In fact, Nockalls appeared to be completely unaware of the lack of interest from her spectators, commenting on how “fun” the subdued group was, before starting the next number.
In a last attempt to provoke a reaction, Nockalls left the audience with her newest single, Cut Them Out, but to no avail.
While her set failed to generate the fervour expected of such a highly anticipated show, Nockalls’ performance alongside Miles Hunt and Stevie Wyatt made up for all that her intro lacked, and then some.
Photos: Sarah Tsang
For further information about Erica Nockalls and future events, visit here.
Watch the video for Cut them Out here