Live Review – Warpaint at the Hammersmith Apollo 26/3/15

Excuse me while I fawn over Warpaint’s live show. After being rescheduled from November to March as the ‘final’ tour dates, the album cycle come to a close. In celebration, Warpaint play a hit-packed show which spans their 2 album, 1 EP lifetime and looks to the future with a smattering of tracks from the new release ‘No Way Out / I’ll Start Believing’ as well as some rarely played songs such as ‘Son’ and ‘Teese’. It’s more like a party than a gig, Warpaint don’t even have to try to get people dancing to the persistent ‘Disco//Very’ and the smoky ‘Love Is to Die’. There are people completely absorbed in the hazy magic that has enveloped the Apollo, their eyes fixated on the sirens up on the stage. Even Warpaint themselves are in their own little world, with Theresa Wayman (Guitar, Vocals) and Jenny Lee Lindberg (Bass, Vocals) occasionally getting caught up in dancing competitions and grinning at each other. Stella Mozgawa (Drums) opens up ‘Bees’ with a thunderous storm of drums, which explodes into the psychedelic and swampy guitars that laced first album The Fool. Songs are extended beyond their album format, with ‘Love Is to Die’ expanding into the extended version and Elephants turning into a sprawling freak-out. The jams give the songs a new lease of life and have so much more of a powerful effect live with the sleepy ‘Biggy’ from last years’ self titled being much more loose and funky live.

The encore is celebratory and starts with the first live rendition of ‘Son’, one of the highlights of last years’ album, with Emily Kokal (Guitar, Vocals) and Jenny Lee sitting down and providing backing vocals for Wayman’s somewhat ironic ode to having to leave her son whilst she goes out to tour the world. It’s a beautiful, slow moment that seems even more intimate than on record. Even Stella switches up her usual role on the drumkit to play the guitar. The energy comes back for new single ‘I’ll Start Believing’, which is even more insistent and punky live. There’s a false start and Theresa laughs it off to begin again, but at this point I don’t think anyone really cares. Warpaint ends with ‘Burgundy/Krimson’, a meandering jam that has a noisy bridge between tracks. Warpaint end by promising to come back when they make new music. Knowing them, that could be this year, or it could be in three years. Either way, it’ll be hard to live up to such a good gig.

Find our review of Warpaint’s last single, ‘I’ll Start Believing’, here


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