Summer Series @ Somerset House: Warpaint – 10th July 2017

Posted by Zyllah Moranne-Brown on Monday Jul 10, 2017 Under Art Rock, Dreampop, Festivals, Psychedelic pop

Review by Chloe Gynne with photography by Marianne Brits-Strodl.

Somerset House on a summer’s evening isn’t the worst place to be. The sun sets over the top of the regal building, making its flag- rainbow for Pride- glow. The square is the perfect size for a gig of this scale; there are no bad views. There are quality food vendors that are the envy of larger festivals. Warpaint are headlining.

Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017

The LA band open with ‘Heads Up’, from the album of the same name, taking no time to up the energy. They head straight into ‘Krimson’ from there, old fans overjoyed to see a cut from debut EP ‘Exquisite Corpse’ getting an airing. The blend of old and new simply shows how far they’ve come, while still retaining their signature, dark alternative sound.

Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017

Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017

Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017

The glory of Warpaint is that they are a band of equal parts. Bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg, whose basslines tonight are crystal-clear and faultless, prowls the stage, flitting from dancing upfront to amping up Stella Mozgawa on drums.

Not that she needs any encouragement. Mozgawa proves time and again that she is one of this era’s best drummers, showcasing her ability to blend genres and cause a racket best with ‘Bees’, chaotic and triumphant.

Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017

Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017

Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017

Meanwhile, frontwomen Theresa Wayman and Emily Kokal share smiles mid-harmony during ‘Beetles’, another old track that causes the front rows to go wild. They have a stage presence so subtle and cool; it is only suitable, then, that their numerous young female fans, of which there are many, gaze adoringly.

The sidelines are a little more subdued though. Perhaps it’s the thoroughly middle class location, or the fact that tickets were a little pricier than your average Warpaint show, but instrumental moments don’t capture everyone’s attention. Even the transcendent rhythms of ‘Keep It Healthy’ can’t stop the suits from talking about their workday. This isn’t a fault of the band; they play with so few errors that at points, it sounds even more studio than the albums.

Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017

Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017

Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017

The band seem to take little notice of that, though. They praise London- “you’re one of the first audiences that embraced us”- and they close their set with the perfect trifecta. First, ‘Love Is To Die’, which, as they become enclosed in the night’s full darkness, feels as witchy and baggy as it should, then ‘New Song’, the night’s favourite, its addictive melody reverberating across the square, and finally ‘Disco//very’, an anthem that perfectly encapsulates the band’s style.

Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017

Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017

Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017Warpaint live at Somerset House, London, 10 July 2017

Warpaint always seem to play for themselves; occasionally they let fans in, with brief chat between songs, but the real spark is with each other. Just as they do musically, on stage they weave between each other, all gravitating towards the anchorage the drums provide.

It makes for something magic in this venue, which encloses the energy and allows the initiated to enjoy every moment. It’s a show that rewards those who give it their undivided attention. The loud talkers and the bar-dwellers don’t know what they missed.

 


 

Summer Series at Somerset House 2017
This year’s Summer Series at Somerset House presents a world-class line-up in the stunning surroundings of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

6 July 2017 – Norah Jones + The Candles
7 July 2017 – Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley + David Rogan
8 July 2017 – The Cinematic Orchestra + Moses Sumney
9 July 2017 – Goldfrapp + Sloes
10 July 2017 – Warpaint + Yak
11 July 2017 – The Robert Glasper Experiment + Gabriel Garzon Montano
12 July 2017 – Birdy + Little Hours
13 July 2017 – Foster the People + Klangstof
14 July 2017 – Tom Misch (live) + Very Special Guests + Camody & Andreya Triana
15 July 2017 – Mashrou’ Leila
16 July 2017 – Songhoy Blues + Submotion Orchestra
For further formation visit Summer Series at Somerset House

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