After being pulled over by the police for going through a red light on the way there, I was very glad to finally be at The New Empowering Church in Hackney. This is something which I’d never expect to write with being all non religious and so on. However, I was genuinely welcomed by the strange atmosphere of the place; from the light up palm trees, to the skanky old sofas and the make shift bar.
Support act, Woman’s Hour also cheered me up after my federal encounter. This was the third time I’ve seen them and they were even stronger than ever before, as one would expect. The band make wonderful atmospheric electronic pop music which nods to various other different genres from song to song. By their opening couple of songs, one would likely have them down as another experimental, ambient act which could be compared to the likes of M83, The Knife and Zola Jesus but by a few songs in, the band seemed to be changing direction into a more guitar based, indie void, before finishing in a very poppy manner. This constant change in style is both interesting and refreshing and compliments lead singer, Fiona’s strong, versatile voice perfectly. Let’s just hope that the band are never forced to conform to one genre as it’s something which makes them wonderfully unique.
Next on, after a bit of Destiny’s Child and ABBA action from Kerrang’s James McMahon on the decks, GAGGLE slowly trickled onto the stage. Opening with a brand new, slow song which suited their dramatic opening well and warmed us up for the exciting unheard album material which was about to grace our ears. The new stuff took on a similar theme to the older material (for example, songs like ‘How Can I Tell If My Man’s A Liar?’) which leads one to think of how the album (set for release in early spring 2012), will excitingly be the first experimental, feminist LP to come from a choir. Groundbreaking shit. There was a malicious passion present in every Gaggle; this probably being my favourite thing about watching the girls live – there is so much going on and so much effort involved from each and every one them. They finished with a very alternative version to one of my least favourite Christmas songs, ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You.’ I did actually enjoy this version though. This is the only live performance of it that I’ve ever seen and enjoyed. The girls did amazingly and I’m very much looking forward to hearing the album now, which I’m sure everyone who was there last night is too.
Words by Katie Wilkinson