Warpaint at the Roundhouse
The culmination of a short string of UK dates, Warpaint’s performance at London’s Roundhouse was a delight for fans of their often varied catalogue, swelled by the recent release of Radiate Like This, the first album from the LA quartet in six years.
Opening with the first track from their first EP, Stars off 2010’s Exquisite Corpse, Warpaint made an early statement of intent. It blended into Champion from their latest effort, which swelled into an early climax of the show, the band carefully toeing the line between dutiful throwbacks to a 12-year mix of albums and their new, untested material. And, often, it is delivered with aplomb: while Hips didn’t quite land, despite its samba-adjacent rhythm, the sweeping atmosphere of Hard to Tell You was Warpiant at their enthralling best.
For Melting, the group gathered up-stage as Emily Kokal sensitively strummed a loose melody while the rest offered haunting vocals in one of the more intimate and powerful moments of the performance. Perhaps conscious that the LA coolness can feel palpable with Kokal and Theresa Wayman leading the way, their stoic focus is lovingly disrupted by the carefree catalyst on bass, Jenny Lee Lindberg.
Occasionally eschewing the dreamy haze that envelops much of their music, select highlights from 2014’s self-titled record really brought a welcome vigour to the show. A winding, almost prog setup for Keep It Healthy allowed them – and the production crew, ready with a intense blue and red flash of lights – the opportunity to flex, while the pre-encore finale featuring Disco/Very blew away any new material nervousness and raised the heartbeat of the venue, with Stella Mozgawa in full flow.
The show was bookended with another early number, the far-out Beetles, and fans may have noticed the almost deliberate omission of some of their biggest tracks, such as Undertow (no tears were shed for the absent Heads Up). Nevertheless, refreshed from a two-year hiatus that cast doubts of the band ever returning, Warpaint transformed the cavernous Roundhouse into a world of their making, with a heady, intoxicating atmosphere and just enough air to dance.
Photos: Guifré de Peray
For further information and future events visit Warpaint’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Disco/Very here: