Live review: Warpaint, The Triffid, Wednesday 22 February 2017

Tonight all-girl Los Angeles four piece Warpaint deliver a dose of maximum mesmerisation upon of all those privileged to fall under their musical hypnosis at The Triffid. The band have gone about steadily building an ever growing Antipodean fan base, reflected in the very healthy mid-week crowd on-hand to welcome them back to these parts.

The girls enter the stage in near darkness to a deafening roar, before stepping from the shadows and laying down the groove to set opener Intro, the aptly named instrumental number which kicks off their second, self-titled album. It’s the perfect scene setter for what follows over the next 90 or so minutes, as the band hold court and capture all in the room with their exemplary performance. In the live arena is where the band clearly excel, and tonight they absolutely nail their signature sound, largely driven by moody, evocative, chiming guitar grooves, languidly insistent rhythms, emotive vocals and gorgeous harmonies.

The consistent and distinctive sonic blueprint of their first three releases is well represented across tonight’s set list, with tracks such as CC, Undertow, Krimson and Love Is To Die For holding the swaying and smiling crowd transfixed throughout.

One of the delights of taking in a Warpaint gig is the obvious musical chemistry between all four members, which we witness with knowing smiles and banter, jammed out interludes and the occasional instrument swap, with guitarists Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman and bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg classily sharing vocal duties throughout the evening.

The band’s latest record, Heads Up, has seen them embrace more dance oriented and electronic influences, and it’s a smattering of these tracks, such as the electo-pop jaunt of Whiteout, that give tonight’s set it’s light and shade moments. And set closer New Song is a dancefloor igniter, the band riding the incessant groove as the crowd bounce along with glee.

The people want more though, and after five minutes are rewarded for their incessant baying, with Kokal stepping alone back onto the stage, guitar in hand, to deliver the hauntingly captivating Baby, the memorable refrain “you live your life like a page from the book of my fantasy” echoing into collective minds and hearts, before the rest of the band return to deliver one final hurrah in the form of the eerily up-tempo Bees.  Australian born drummer Stella Mozgawa, who has been a rhythmic powerhouse throughout, cajoles the rest of the band to one final high watermark before blazing out, the girls sincerely thanking us for bringing them half way around the world as they wave us a fond farewell.

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