Bat For Lashes @ HMV Forum 29th October 2012

Bat For Lashes are back with their 3rd LP The Haunted Man. I have been a fan of their music ever since debut album Fur and Gold and the first time I witnessed them live was the washout (that I will never forget) at Somerset House back in 2009. The band had played some shows earlier on in 2012 but didn’t visit London. So the moment the Autumn tour was announced I booked a ticket immediately. Natasha and her band were due to play at HMV Forum. This date sold out which prompted another show to be announced for the following day. Judging from the fact the majority of people started to arrive 30 minutes before doors made me realise that people probably booked out of curiousity. Once inside I got my spot at the barrier and waited in anticipation for the support band to begin their set.

Sylver Tongue is the new musical project by Charlotte Hatherley. You are probably aware of Charlotte by the fact she was a member of Ash and she also worked with the likes of KT Tunstall and Bat For Lashes. When I found out that they were the only support on the tour I was rather excited because I love this group. “We are Sylver Tongue, this is a song called Moments” Charlotte said to the people who came earlier enough to catch their set. The style of the music by Sylver Toungue was Synth Pop. For Moments Charlotte mainly played the keyboard that was right in front her. It had an electro feel and the lyrics gelled together perfectly to the gentle melody. This infectious song was delivered powerfully. Once over it was straight onto Something Big. This being the latest single and the lead track to the EP that shares the same name. This was mainly keys influenced until the very end where Hatherley played the guitar. Something Big was a song which offered plenty of promise. This catchy track reminded me of Ladyhawke and its melody was very entrancing. It was then onto Space Paranoia which was played immediately after. This was a promising tune which sounded superb both instrumentally and lyrically. Space Paranoia is infact quite contagious and I for one cannot get it out of my head. Tender Gravity was the next to be played and I found this to be rather dreamy. This number was rather synthy and the vocals were delivered ever so strongly. The penultimate tune on the night was the hypnotic Hook You Up. This again was another dreamy song. The melody was light and mesmerising at the same time. Things were then capped off with Creatures. This song is a grower and it is one that showed off Hatherley’s phenomenal guitar playing skills. Charlotte powered through this song at ease.

SET LIST

Moments
Something Big
Space Paranoia
Tender Gravity
Hook You Up
Creatures

It was around 9.15pm when Bat For Lashes took to the stage. It was something brand new from the recent LP The Haunted Man which opened the night and this being Lilies. This synthy song showcased Khan’s pitch perfect vocals. Lilies started off soft and gentle then the band came in which made the tune gain that extra oomph. After plenty of cheers it was then onto an oldie and this being What’s A Girl To Do. Judging by the reaction this was a crowd pleasing number. What’s A Girl To Do was a mixture of spoken word and song and this combination worked wonders. This was powerfully delivered with both amazing melody and lyrics. Natasha has a belting voice and is backed by a brilliant band. Once over Khan thanked the packed crowd and launched into another oldie and this being Glass. This was faultlessly delivered and it was a song which had a soothing melody. “I got to go home last night and sleep in my own bed” Natasha mentioned to the packed crowd before diving into Travelling Woman. The song was about a travelling girl and it saw Khan go over to play the piano. This haunting song was delivered at a steady pace and it was very entrancing. It was then back onto new material and first up it was Oh Yeah. This song was both infectious and it had a dance vibe to it which easily got people moving. Following on was the latest single and this being All Your Gold. My favourite part had to be the infectious chorus which was packed with a punch. “About 100 of my family are hear tonight, this one’s for you” Khan then revealed before getting stuck into Marilyn. This dreamy pop song was rather mellow and it got stronger as soon as it progressed. Natasha went off to her piano for Horse And I. At first it started off both haunting and slow and as soon as the song progressed it picked up pace. Following on was Horses Of The Sun. Khan had got off the piano and headed off to the mic to deliver this intense track to perfection. It was then onto Laura. This was a stripped back duet between Natasha Khan and Ben Christophers on piano. I found Laura to be incredibly soft and gentle. Natasha’s faultless vocals were strong and very hypnotic. This tune has to be my favourite from the new LP The Haunted Man. “It’s so nice to be back” Khan said during the rapturous applause.

It was then onto another oldie and this being Siren Song. Natasha played this steady paced song on the piano. I simply loved the sleek lyrics and they gelled to it’s melody perfectly. It actually reminded me of Regina Spektor. “I’ve got a croaky voice. Autumn who needs it. Colds and runny noses” Khan said before urging everyone to clap for the next song Prescilla. Natasha sat down and played the amazing auto harp. There was a beat to this number and it was played at a steady pace. Some of the lyrics were catchy especially its chorus. Rest Your Head was next and this being another new song. I found this to be strong and slightly sythy at the same time. Backing that was the penultimate song from The Haunted Man to be showcased. A Wall was synth pop with some amazing lyrics especially the chorus “You see a wall, I see a door”. The evening then drew to a close with Pearl’s Dream. This was a good song, both verses and chorus were perfect. Some lyrics are really catchy my favourite part being when Natasha starts off with “When the battle was done”. After the band leave the stage then later come out for the encore. Once back on the stage Khan introduced her fantastic band. It was then onto the self titled track from the 3rd LP and this being The Haunted Man. This tune was rather smooth and showcased off Natasha’s impeccable vocal range. Its lyrics were superb. About a minute into this incredible song saw Khan holding up an antique radio and The Haunted Man became even more powerful. The evening came to a close with the best known Bat For Lashes song and this being Daniel which was taken from the 2nd LP Two Suns. Daniel was a magical song which was mellowing and it made everyone leave on a high.

SET LIST

Lilies
What’s A Girl To Do
Glass
Travelling Woman
Oh Yeah
All Your Gold
Marilyn
Horse And I
Horses Of The Sun
Laura
Siren Song
Prescilla
Rest Your Head
A Wall
Pearl’s Dream

ENCORE

The Haunted Man
Daniel

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