Seinabo Sey at Notting Hill Arts Club
Swedish supreme solo artist Seinabo Sey has had a limited amount of success in Scandinavia and the US – mainly through her groovy hit Younger – but has yet to truly capture the imagination of UK audiences, staying somewhat of an unknown quantity. In a ridiculously sweaty packed out Notting Hill bunker bar Seinabo sifted her way through the expecting audience and took to the stage with her band, dressed to kill in a dazzlingly bright, white flowing dress.
The audience is stunned into an abrupt silence as the set begins with Seinabo belting out her undeniably glorious voice, making every hair on the punter’s necks stand on end. The audience is largely made up of men aged between 25-40: this seems somewhat surprising when considering the band’s fresh-faced fast trance tempo. The dominant feature is clearly the powerful maturity of the vocal performance, and this combination produces such a soothingly mellow sound.
The music is completely allowed to breathe throughout the intense set as Seinabo keeps crowd interaction to a minimum, occasionally introducing the origins of a song. A particularly interesting contrast is the difference between Seinabo’s accent sneaking in when speaking but then losing all trace of it when singing, showing her confident talent. The brooding intensity of the vocal performance is perhaps best displayed on the slower, more melancholic, stripped-back tracks as its full raw range is allowed to flourish and captivate the audience’s unwavering attention. The two most well-known tracks Younger and Hard Time are left until the end of the setlist to gain momentum and go out on a high note. Both are played to perfection, almost identical to the recorded versions.
The set may be short and sweet – just under 40 minutes – but this doesn’t affect the quality of the performance. Despite playing in an over-crowded, boiling hot, tiny venue the band show that they can dig in and give a stunning performance. Seinabo’s talent will only improve, and to see the band play in a larger, sold-out venue has to surely be an inevitability.
For further information and future events visit Seinabo Sey’s website here.
Watch the video for Hard Time here: