Review: Bat for Lashes

Rob GarrattBat For Lashes - aka Natasha Khan - walked on stage in a bat-like black and gold winged cape to be met by a sea of cat calls from men younger than her 29-years.Rob Garratt

Bat For Lashes

Latitude

Bat For Lashes - aka Natasha Khan - walked on stage in a bat-like black and gold winged cape to be met by a sea of cat calls from men younger than her 29-years.

Turning her back to the audience, she began a low cappella murmur, her trademark quivering voice building slowly to a shrill, soaring whine.


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What followed was a series of eerie, atmospheric and slightly disconcerting and stylishly dramatic collages of sound. If Portishead were fronted by Kate Bush, it might sound a little like this.

The music was juxtapositions of sounds and textures, with delicate piano and minimal-electronica loops next to distorted fuzz-bass and Bjork-esque harmonies. Most integral to the sound was a deep percussive march driven by startling tribal rhythms, as excruciating as they were infectious.

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During songs she moved theatrically about the stag,e while between songs she jumped to a coquettish, flirty persona.

Harsh and uncompromising, the music was at odds with a Friday night headline slot at a festival, but enchantingly dramatic, evocative and full of soul. But then the alternative was the Pet Shop Boys, who I hear mimed in tune and everything…

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