From the warm climes of LA to a cold and windy Sheffield tonight, came the critically acclaimed Warpaint continuing the UK leg of a lengthy European tour before returning to Yorkshire for Leeds / Reading Festival later in the year.
A quartet formed in 2004 and still boasting 3 of the original members, only the drummers stool becoming a version of musical chairs, the all girl band were nominated for the BBC’s Sound Of 2011 and continue to have praise lauded on them since the debut ep Exquisite Corpse in 2009 and more recently an impressive 2010 debut album The Fool via the legendary Rough Trade label.
Before the main event though came Connan and the Mockasins, led by Kiwi Connan Hosford who makes quirky seem mainstream with a set to remember for many reasons. Undoubtedly a very talented individual he gave glimpses of early Bowie influences and at times was reminiscent of the wonderful atmospherical abstractness of Eno to a mostly bemused but not alien audience. The highlight of Connan and crew was the closer Forever Dolphin Love, the title track from the new album, complete with vocal and guitar dolphin whistles.
A packed, presumably sold out, venue welcomed Warpaint with a rousing cheer that set the tone for a brilliant set of inspirational music. Fronted by vocalists / guitarists Emily and Theresa it was immediately obvious why they were perfect tour support for the all conquering XX with tracks like Undertow and Jubilee complete with exquisitely understated vocals and smooth rhythmically hypnotic guitar licks. The ladies were more than up for chatting casually to the throng who hung on their every word. Set Your Arms Down was a massive crowd favourite with its psychedelic vibe and Majesty maybe the pick of the rest of a very strong catalogue of songs.
This evening was a welcome change from the usual highly animated and ear damaging bands that we often indulge ourselves of, and to listen to some soothing and simple yet movingly mesmeric music was a memorable treat.
Copies of their album sold out at the merch stall so I’ll be off to Record Collector, my local indie shop, to grab a copy this week.