Throughout the summer, The Southbank Center are putting on ‘A Room For London’: a series of shows on a boat on the Thames which is streamed into the foyer of The Queen Elizabeth Hall. The shows are also streamed online for people to watch at home on the Guardian website.
It is quite a weird thing but also a wonderful thing as it gives bands a chance to do something a little bit different to a standard gig: they’re not looking for a crowd reaction because there’s no physical crowd yet they are looking to impress. This is perhaps what led to Tune-Yards doing a slightly different selection of songs to the ones she’d do at a live show. She’s not looking to have people dancing with songs such as ‘Bizness’ and ‘My Country’; she’s looking to show off and put a different spin on her work with the help of her special guests that she had in the boat with her. It was a chilled out affair aided by Tune-Yards’ signature cool bass licks and light percussion. I watched her do a completely different set to a rammed tent in a forest at Latitude Festival; a lively, festival-esque set with lots of snare banging, plenty of war cries and a lot of dancing so it was quite refreshing to see her do something a bit different a few days later.
Yes, it’s a weird thing watching a gig stream in a room surrounded by strangers who don’t quite know whether to clap, cheer or remain silent but it was a nice and relaxed activity for a Wednesday night (*sounding old alert*) and it was a great opportunity to see something a bit different from Tune-Yards.
Words: Katie Wilkinson