Taking to the stage around 9.40pm was EMA (now EMA is solely Erika M Anderson who also has a band backing her). Things opened up with a intro and speech which was simply known as Lief Violin on the setlist. Following straight after was the first single to be lifted from the album The Future’s Void and this being the infectious Satellites. Now the song itself was pretty amazing as it is different compared to anything that appeared on debut EP Past Martyred Saints. This was pop meets rock played at a fast tempo. What followed on after was the 2nd single taken from that album and this being So Blonde which was really grungy and packed with a punch. The shades came off and it was then straight into Marked. Anderson’s vocals were unbearably hoarse and strained, you could feel her fragility and desperation, as she sang, “I wish that every time he touched me left a mark”. Erika put every ounce of energy into this song. Next was another new cut and this being the synth heavy Cthulu which was based on a fictional cosmic entity created by H.P. Lovecraft in 1920s pulp mag Weird Tale. Infused to the ending was Neuromancer which oozed bundles of energy and it was rather intense. “This song is about teenagers and guns. A very American tradition” Anderson said before Butterfly Knife which saw a darker side to EMA. This Past Martyred Saints dealt with self mutilation. “You Were The Goth In High School, You Cut And Fucked Your Arms Up”. It was then onto California. This song being the most memorable EMA song as the lyrics were rather powerful “Fuck California, You Made Me Boring”. This number was extremely ferocious and Erika put everything she had to deliver this sublime song to perfection.
A double dose of tunes from the new album were next. First you had 3Jane which is by far one of my favourite numbers from The Future’s Void. Hearing it live was quite stunning. 3Jane was a lot gentler compared to the likes of So Blonde. In fact I found it to be mellowing. Straight after someone shouted out for When She Comes (which they were going to play after Cherrylee) so Erika then switched the songs around. “Fuck it your wish is my command” Erika said before they sang When She Comes. This was one phenomenal tune. It was simply flawless despite the fact they needed to start up again. “I’m going to one quiet song ish” Anderson said before launching into Cherylee which was a Gowns song. For those who do not know of Gowns this was the band that Erika was in before going solo. This number was beautifully delivered despite what the song is depicting. Cherylee tells the story of a women who has been selling her body for sex “She Is Crying At The Kitchen Table, I Can’t Stand To Think About, The Way I Let Those Men Touch Me” and now is trying to come out of it as the man she loved prior felt the same way “I Should Have Been Waiting The Whole Time, If I Had Known You Were Coming Into My Life, I Would Have Been Waiting For You The Whole Time”. Straight after it was onto another cover. Before launching into Bikini Kill’s Feels Blind Anderson introduced the other three members of the band. This was like a full on force and Erika put everything in to delivering a rip roaring performance. Things then came to a close with Solance which was yet again another gentler song which was rather tender. The song itself was pretty much amazing and it also left me in a trance. After the band then exited the stage.
“You’ve been a sweet awesome audience” Erika said after they returned to the stage for what was to be a two song encore. It was then onto Anteroom. Now an Anteroom is an outer room which opens into another room. At first this song started off rather beautiful then as it progressed it began to ooze plenty of energy. The stunning evening was capped off with the spell binding Dead Celebrity.
When She Comes
OVERALL: I have been a fan of EMA for a good 4 years now and she is still amazing as usual. The first EP Past Martyred Saints was a masterpiece but Erika has surpassed herself with The Future’s Void. There are so many good tracks on that record and they sounded phenomenal live. My personal favourites of the evening had to be Satellites, So Blonde, 3Jane and Dead Celebrity. The fact that the set was mixed up with old, new and cover songs was nice plus it was a pleasure just to witness the tunes from the debut EP yet again.
Finally I must mention about the extraordinary support act Colleen Green. I came to this gig not knowing who she was and left as a fan and admirer of the songs that were showcased.