Findlay at Oslo Hackney
Findlay and her three-piece band (populated by Ben Simon on guitar, Jules Apollinaire on bass and Christina Lamas on drums) completely dominated the bustling space of the venue. Their stage presence, both as a unit and from the singer herself, was formidable, and not only did they play their songs, they performed them. By the time they got to the Oslo in Hackney, the group had had plenty of time to practise together, as they were drawing to the end of the European promotional tour of Findlay’s debut album Forgotten Pleasures, which came out in March this year. Whilst the recorded tracks tend to sound somewhat pop-y, the live show had much more weight, and merged many different genres of rock. Both renderings of the music were, however, immersive and commanding.
It was clear that the audience appreciated this, as well as the no-holds-barred nature of the concert: there were very few quieter moments of reflection, except perhaps in Sunday Morning in the Afternoon. Even this broke out into dark grooves reminiscent of The Dead Weather, complete with distorted guitar solos and well-conceived hooks that acted as focal points for the chaotic atmosphere of the music. This aversion to understatement was no bad thing, though, and expressed a conscious ownership of an energised and grungy style more than a lack of balance.
The lyrics were not particularly original, however, and focussed on the usual themes: the pain of life and the tragedy of love. This would have come across as uninspiring and even a little drab were it not for the delivery of the songs, which was exemplary. Not only was it a great performance, but the band played very tightly, held together by Lamas’s drumming, and obviously revelled in the teamwork. For example, in some of the tracks (like Greasy Love and Off & On) there were sudden stops, speeding up and tempo changes, all handled excellently in perfect synchronisation.
Overall, this was a very strong performance from Findlay, and she organised her eclectic musical taste very well. There were at times hints of Warpaint (but with more aggression), Lana Del Rey (in the “tragedy ballad” aesthetic) and Band of Skulls (think jangly neo-psychedelic rock); Findlay’s personal style shone through and synthesised these diverse influences convincingly. This was especially true in Stoned and Alone, which was perhaps her most unique and idiosyncratic song.
Photos: Jon Mo
For further information and future events visit Findlay’s Facebook page here.
Watch the video for Off & On here: