Kyla La Grange @ Rough Trade East 30th July 2012

Taking place at Rough Trade East was the album release in store of Kyla La Grange’s début Ashes. I had been an admirer of her style of music for a while and I was delighted to have a physical copy of the album in my hands. After when Delilah had finished performing at Fopp I decided not to stick round for the signing. Instead I chose to make my way down to Rough Trade East. I purchased my copies of the deluxe (it includes 3 bonus tracks) and the vinyl prior the Delilah in store. As expected the store closed an hour before so the band could carry out their sound check. Once there only 5 people were queuing outside. I therefore joined them and waited for the doors to open at 7pm. Nearing the time they did open the queue was rather long. When inside I then walked at a fast pace to get to the front which I did at ease.

La Grange kicked the set off with début single Been Better which was released on Chess Club last year. This song was powerful and blew me away. The harmonies were spot on and this number had a strong folk vibe. It’s lyrics were fantastic and I especially liked the chorus which oozed plenty of energy. “Hello. Thank you so much for coming. I didn’t really expect anyone. We’re going to play quite a short set” Kyla said before I Could Be. This song had a blues feel to it and I adored the lyrics.  “Thank you very very much. It’s really scary I can see everyone’s face. The next one we’re going to do is a really quiet one” she then said before Heavy Stone. This this tune started life as a heavy song only for La Grange to rework it to something softer. I found Heavy Stone to be soft and soothing. Lambs was then played straight after. I picked up on an Irish feel when performed live. Maybe it was down to the backing track. Kyla gave this song her all and its lyrics were superb. “I’m going to try and do something next which is probably going to be quite sh*t. But I really want to do it. Basically I have this song that I wrote when I was 19 that everyone seems to really like. I’ve been playing it for a long time so I kind of wanted to do it in a more intimate way” and what followed was a special version of Vampire Smile. Kyla then came down off the stage to deliver this song both unplugged and acoustic. Lyrically this was a dark song when you carefully listen to it “But I’m A Vampire Smile You’ll Meet A Sticky End, And Here I’m Trying Not To Bite Your Neck, But It’s Beautiful And I’m Going To Get, So Drunk On You And Kill Your Friends”. You would think that it is about vampires but La Grange revealed it wasn’t. This was incredible and it is a performance I will not forget. Thankfully being right at the front I was able to hear this perfectly. I did have Kyla’s back to me meaning I had to move so I had a side on view of her performing this spectacular song. I was actually transfixed because along with Walk, Vampire Smile has to be one of my favourite songs. “We have time for 1 more song. Thank you so much to everyone whose come” Kyla then said before rounding off things with Catalyst. Now this was a whimsical song and the vocals were phenomenal.

SET LIST

Been Better
I Could Be
Heavy Stone
Lambs
Vampire Smile
Catalyst

OVERALL: Watford born Kyla La Grange is an artist I fully admire. Her album Ashes featured 11 tracks (14 if you have the deluxe). All of the songs have been written by Kyla (apart from Love You Better on the deluxe which is a Maccabees cover). Other than being an outstanding song writer her vocals are also spine tingling. It feels as if she is channelling Kate Bush. This set may have been short but it was enough to tide me over until La Grange plays her biggest headline show at Scala on 9th October. Again I must say how spectacular Vampire Smile and this unplugged performance wont be repeated again.

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