I saw the end half of Bat for Lashes performing live last night and they were stunning. A female four-piece headed by the beautiful Natasha Khan with her intimate, original and mesmerizing vocals. The band played a series of strange instruments (one of
Natasha banged against the floor to create an echoey drum-like sound.
The gig was advertised very much as a solo artist with accompniments however they were much more of a complete band, they had a wonderful rythm between them with lovely harmonies and the stunning use of of merely clapping. Although I couldn't make it until the second half, it was clear to see they had completely captivated the audience very quickly. On the quieter numbers, the crowd wasn't making a sound at all until it came to the end where the room would errupt in cheers and emphatic clapping. When they fnished my friend said "Quick, let's go get a CD" but, listening to the roars and chants for an encore, I simply said "No, they're getting back on that stage." It may have taken several minutes, but we forced them back on and by the end people at the front were in tears.
I spoke to Natasha briefly after the gig and got her to sign my CD which, out of interest, has not left my player all day. This is a stunning and influential album with echoes of Bjork and Kate Bush, some of the tracks even reminding me of Arcade Fire. Special appraisals have to be noted for the hauntingly perfect, harmonious track 'Sarah' and also to the spectacular, beat-clapped 'Prescilla' and 'The Wizard'.
Certainly a wonderful break-through worthy of making an entry into any best of 2006 list. Euphonic and echoey, this album and this band are best described simply as: beautiful.