Warpaint @ Scala 28th October 2010

It is not often when I leave a gig thinking wow. I mean I have been to some amazing gigs but this night which was headlined by American girl band Warpaint was fantastic from beginning to end. I arrived at the Scala around 4pm. It was a sold out gig and was still half term so I would of expected a few more people to be waiting outside. A las this was not the case. I was then sitting down in the freezing cold for just over a hour till the following person turned up. Fortunately this was Steve whom I know and therefore we could chat about gigs e.t.c. So the time went quickly and the queue grew longer. The fact they put the barriers up around 30mins till doors open was very poor. This could cause people to queue jump and I was going to make sure no one was getting in front of me. During the time we were waiting for doors to open there was a Police man hanging around the Scala issuing fines to anyone riding a bicycle on the pavement. The fact one person evaded the Policeman did make me chuckle a little. When they did finally open I went through rush upstairs got a drink of water then everyone was waiting to go inside. A band were still sound checking but once over everyone went in. It slowly filled up but late comers missed something really special. Hannah and Colette Thurlow are 2.54. This unsigned group have something extremely special and can go far. The second support on the night were Fiction whom I have seen play a couple of times before.

Still it was Warpaint who stole the show. The band consist of Emily Kokal (vocals/guitar), Theresa Wayman (guitar/vocals), Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass/vocals), and Stella Mozgawa (drums). When just having a glance at the set list there were only 9 songs listed. I originally thought the set would be finished in 45 minutes but ended up lasting for over a hour. Each song was well and truly epic. Warpaint didn’t just focus on debut album The Fool which had been released that week but they also delved into material from debut EP Exquisite Corpse. In fact they played the debut EP in full. I enjoyed every song on the night and from the tracks that were sung from The Fool make it one incredible album. This set was an epic hour of fantastic folky pop songs. There were some fantastic guitar solos as well. Each song is so entrancing and the band gel together perfectly. Honestly each song was so long it felt like everything was gelled together which would mean less crowd interaction. This wasn’t the case though. The song Warpaint opened the fantastic 9 song set whilst old song Elephants ended the set. Undertow was a personal favourite on the night but then again The Fool’s opening track Set Your Arms Down was fantastic as well. There was definitely energy flowing from the performance. Composure sounded fantastic and was delivered superbly. As for the encore all I can say is wow!!!. I had expected only one song as it had past the curfew time of 11pm but getting 2 was something. The haunting Billie Holiday ended the night if you have not heard it I advise you do so. This was a real crowd pleaser and the end saw Emily collapsing to the ground while playing the guitar and both Jenny and Stella hitting the crap out of the drum set. It was plain to see that the band were enjoying themselves throughout this intense hour set.


Set Your Arms Down


Billie Holiday

OVERALL: This night was fanatastic. When I made my way home I had the sense of fulfilment from the epic set I had witnessed. Warpaint definately have something special and the band were just feeding off the energy of the crowd.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. dje says:

    Ah, glad to see ‘Billie Holiday’ crop up as a second song on their encore at the Scala. I saw them at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds the week before last and they were immense, as was the venue.

    The only disappointment though was the encore – which consisted of some harmony wailing-cum-howling that breathlessly built into what became a rather routine rendition of ‘Majesty’. It isn’t their most engaging of songs as it is, so to hold an entire encore for it is asking too much (and I missed the last train back because of it). Clearly for that night in Leeds they had burnt themselves out during the hour+ set that they had just delivered, and it did feel that less would have been more with no encore easily being forgivable.

    I see now after your Scala review that on another night the encore was supposed to roll into the lullaby child-rhyme, ‘Billie Holiday’, and us Northerners would have been sent off waltzing into the night with the seductive charms of that song reverberating in our simple little heads.

    “Folky pop songs” is way of the mark though as a description of Warpaint live. Almost all their songs are driven by the rutting bass between Jenny and Stella. Bass is all about sex, whilst folk is chaste, IMHO. As for pop, you say yourself that nine songs lasted well over an hour and melt within and without of one another, so if it is pop then it is bad pop.

    Other than that, nice gigography and glad you were bowled over by them too.

    ~ dje.

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