Empress Of @ MOTH Club, London, 14/06/16

by AdamTait
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on 20 June 2016 in Live
Rating 8/10

The relationship between and artist and a venue can be an interesting one. At times they can seem an ideal pairing, their suitability for each other lifting the performance and searing it into the audience's mind. At other the show can seem overwhelmed by the disparity between the act and the setting; no less memorable, but somehow more unnerving. And at still other occasions the musicians shear force of personality, the magnitude of their stage presence, makes any thoughts of locations or suitability embarrassingly picky.

Empress Of at East London's Moth Club managed to be all three. It's easy to imagine her brand of knotty, electro pop would be best housed in one of London's repurposed, overdecorated warehouses or niche bars, rather than this just-as-repurposed military veterans club. And following a hot and cold support set from Throwing Shade, the opening phases of her set did seem to fall slightly flat, her voices lost among the music due to microphones issues that for a moment looked like they would go unfixed.

But with kinks ironed out, the set got underway in earnest with a burst of frenetic electro fury and suddenly the club and the artists seemed like they couldn't be a better fit. The strange framing of the venue - it's walls adorned with trophies, it's ceiling glittering gold - mirroring the awkward, sugary confrontation of the music, both eagerly difficult to define. If this isn't the right place to see and Empress Of gig, then where?

It's these considerations - the initial sense of juxtaposition, the growing coalescence soothingly making more and more sense - that draw you in to the evening's proceedings. But at the end of the night the biggest take away is simply the quality of the music.

Songs like 'Standard', 'To Get By', 'How Do You Do It' and 'Kitty Kat' simmer with intent and brim with compositional class. The audience is ever more enthralled, aurally urged on to commit and involve themselves. Its fantastic pop music performed with intense passion, and it's hard not to be convinced by that. You'd have to believe there aren't going to be too many more opportunities to see this performer in a place like this.


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