Lights @ Banquet Records 16th February 2012

Canadian singer Lights returned for an 11 date jaunt of the UK/ Ireland. I had seen her play quite a few times last year when the debut album The Listening was being promoted. This time round Lights had a brand new LP and this being the brilliant Siberia. Unfortunately I could not make any of the dates on the tour but the one date I could make was an intimate instore at Banquet Records. Lights was playing at this quaint little record store because she was set to play Kingston’s The Hippodrome as part of New Slang later on. Usually you would need a ticket for an instore taking place at Banquet but on this occasion tickets weren’t necessary. I arrived at the record store at 2.30pm. The reason for my early arrival was down to the fact it was half term for kids plus Banquet said it would get busy later on. It came as no surprise that I was the first one there which was good in a way because at least I was going to get a good viewing spot when inside. About an hour before the event kicked off the queue had grown immensely. I overheard that not everyone was going to get in and those unlucky people would be front of the queue for the signing. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for the signing as I needed to dash off to attend something in London at 8pm. Once inside I got to the counter but the right side of it. As expected Lights would perform on a platform behind the counter. “Hey, I was really shocked to see that line it’s really exciting. What do I want to play here?” she then said before opening with Banner. There is something entrancing about witnessing acoustic music in front of you. Banner was beautifully delivered and had some lovely lyrics. This has to be one of my favourite songs from Siberia and hearing it played acoustic makes you see it from another perspective. Vocally this steady paced song was delivered to perfection. “What do you want to hear? If you knew this that’s crazy as it’s only on Youtube” Lights said before launching into In The Dark I See. Now I really enjoyed hearing this unreleased song live. The lyrics were soft and wonderful at the same time. Plenty of energy oozed from this song.

“I never actually played this one before, but I’m gonna do it now. This is exclusively now for you guys here in Kingston. If you know it that would be great, if you don’t it’s no care” Lights said before giving Kingston the live première of Peace Sign. This song was extremely gentle which was delivered without a hitch. “So what else do you want to hear? This is really special. We were walking up and I really did not expect to see that many people in line. That’s crazy. But I think this is one of my first time ever here. Also the record comes out March 12th here but there’s two boxes that they ordered for this record store. So you guys, if you get it you will be the first ones to have it in this entire continent” Lights said before launching into single Toes. This song was extremely up tempo plus it was rather infectious. “This song I actually wrote a couple of years ago in Brighton and it’s one and only song I’ve ever written that’s outside my own country” she then said before singing Cactus In The Valley. Lights wrote this song when she was tired and bottom of the barrel. Cactus In The Valley was a heart wrenching ballad which was vocally superb. “I actually only done this one once before. I’m going to try doing this one” Lights said before getting stuck into Where The Fence In Low which is the single here in the UK. Once this song was over the audience were left wanting more. “Do you really want one more. What else shall I do? I’ll do an older one” Lights said before saying that the song would be between Second Go or Saviour. “I haven’t done this one in a while this is bad” and this being Second Go. Basically everyone was in stitches as Lights couldn’t remember the lyrics. Even though she had trouble she didn’t give up. Lights was then on a roll and completed this fantastic song.


In The Dark I See
Peace Sign
Cactus In The Valley
Where The Fence In Low
Second Go

OVERALL: This was a fantastic instore seeing an artist whom I love and adore. It is a great shame that I could not make any dates on the Siberia tour because every single minute tonight was amazing. Siberia is one incredible album and just hearing acoustic tracks sung live was something rather special.


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