Polly Scattergood & Parralox @ EQ Music Live

I got there in time for a bit of Daniel Robinson, and though he had some intriguing songs (I've written about him in GT), the tuning wasn't as hot as it could've been and it basically provided the backing for me wrestling my way to the bar at the back. Tonight's sold out epic line up was already half way through, so congrats to Electro Queer for pulling off such a feat. A bigger/better venue is much deserved, as the strangely curtained underground venue (The Workshop, Shoreditch pictured) was so crammed in I had no elbow room to lift my cameraphone aloft and snap the back of someone's head.

My first proper band of the evening were Parralox and I hate to be a Debbie Downer on new acts but I wasn't feeling them either. Sound issues ruined the first few songs, but even when they got full steam ahead it felt like something was missing. All the separate parts were there as a potentially fab, retro sounding Human League-esque pop band, but they never came together. Their song about cutting like a knife nearly made it, perhaps their new singer is just finding their feet. They have some great videos, mind.

Then headliner Polly Scattergood - I've wanted to check her out for a while, and recently Lady Lloyd of all people has been using every opportunity to promote her (and their friendship). Well, it paid off. In her neon splatter sequin jacket she looked gutter-glam and like most 'kooky' female vocalists, will no doubt be used to the Kate Bush comparisons - so I'm just gonna quietly leave that to hang in the air. What I will say is that she knows she has a unique voice and is happy letting it crackle in it's own vulnerability. It's beautiful to listen to, and only very rarely steps over into a strange bleating. Otherwise it is completely beguiling accompaniment to her songwriting, which has an orchestral depth belying it's synthy production. Though I wasn't bouncing off the walls - there wasn't room - I was almost crying at one bitter spat out ballad, and kept wondering what films the recorded version would fit with. It's great, mind-wander-enabling dark pop and I can't wait to get my hand her on album and become more familiar with her music. The following is Polly at her most pop (in a glum, Sheffield way).


p.s. Thanks to Johnny for inviting me to the gig, who does a regular Sunday afternoon show on This Is Electric radio station. You better tape it, they've got all your favourites.

p.p.s. Thanks to Guy for inviting me to the opening of the group art exhibition Loudest Whispers earlier that evening, which is a fanstic collection of 'lgbt' art in camden.