Monday, 17 November 2014

Lykke Li

At the weekend I went to Manchester to see Lykke Li perform at the Albert Hall. She's a very exciting, super-talented Swedish woman who writes songs, sings, and performs, but is hands-on as a creator and re-creator in other areas. Her videos are striking, she's been in films, and she is happy to reinterpret her previous work (the versions of songs performed at the concert were often subtly changed from the album versions).

If you've never heard of her, here are some of my favourite songs and videos: the funky Get Some; her new Gunshot; the mesmerising Sadness Is A Blessing; and I Follow Rivers.

This concert was at the Albert Hall. I'd never been before, it's a cool venue, with its stained glass windows and cavernous interior. I chose to be stood in front of the stage rather than sitting on the balcony and being restrained. Eliot Sumner was the support. I’d not come across her before but she came on and owned the stage with her big bass and punky attitude, singing catchy and energetic songs with such gusto it was a really great surprise bonus to see her too.

Excitement kept building prior to Lykke Li coming on stage, and when she did it was unexpectedly powerful - I had tears in my eyes when she started singing. She was awesome, emotional and haunting. The use of stark lights and smoke kept things dreamlike; Lykke Li's movement part of expression as she moved and swayed and struck things with a drumstick. It's inspirational to be in the presence of such creative people. I was buzzing by the end.

The only annoyance was the naffers holding up smartphones to record everything instead of just watching the performer or dancing. You don't have to digitally record everything in your life to prove you did it!

If you're interested, here's the setlist. Manchester City Centre itself was the same as ever. Negatives: crowded, litter-strewn, and a lack of green spaces (even when redevelopments mean the ideal opportunity to add some). The plus sides were the food (e.g. 8th Day, V Revolution) and game shops (Travelling Man, FanBoy3 etc). Oh. And the music.
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