Lonelady at Heaven
When a musician performs live in a nightclub, they risk not quite hitting the mark when it comes to atmosphere: perhaps the venue isn’t laid out to accommodate a band, or maybe the acoustics aren’t suitable. On a crisp Wednesday night in Heaven, a well-renowned gay superclub in central London, neither of these prove to be a problem for Mancunian singer-songwriter Lonelady, although the size of the venue (over 1,600 people regularly pack in on weekends) does swamp the modest crowd that has turned out for a midweek performance of material from her new album, Hinterland.
Despite the empty space, the venue is well suited to host Lonelady’s unique blend of lo-fi electro and post-punk inspired work. High ceilings and exposed brickwork lend an air of exclusive Manhattan loft party to a short set that opens with the industrial samples, and drumpad kicks, of Into the Cave, before she works through synth-heavy tracks including Silvering and Bunkerpop, which wouldn’t be out of place on a Le Tigre album.
Throughout her hour on stage, the crowd nods along appreciatively (although rarely bursting into outright enthusiasm) to reverb-laden riffs and angry bass licks that form a common theme from her new album. Mixed into this new material are a handful of tracks from her acclaimed debut album, Nerve Up. Silhouetted by broody, at times almost cliché, visuals of grey skies and derelict buildings projected behind the band, Lonelady picks up the pace with Haste and Marble, a brace of tracks that are heavily reminiscent of post-punk mainstays such as Eurythmics and New Order, before closing with an extended version of the titular Hinterland that almost has the crowd dancing along.
Throughout her entire set, Lonelady occupies centre stage quietly, allowing her piercing guitar riffs and vocals reminiscent of Alanis Morissette to make an impact. Indeed, perhaps in an effort to cultivate an image of studied disinterest, her only words during the evening are “Hi” after the band have warmed up, and an understated “That’s it, thanks” before leaving the stage.
By the end of the evening, Lonelady has given a solid performance (albeit one marred slightly by the frequent and poorly balanced use of shrill synth tones by an overzealous keyboardist) that one crowd member describes as “a solid midweek gig”. With more competent performances like this, Lonelady is sure to build on her small, but committed, fan base.
Photos: Ludovic Etienne
For further information about Lonelady and future events visit here.
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