Hypnotic, ethereal, dreamy and spellbinding are just some of the ways that one can describe the music of Warpaint. They are also attributes that the baying Bristol crowd lapped up on 21st February 2014 at the O2 Academy.
For those in need of an introduction, Warpaint is a four-piece American alternative/rock band from Los Angeles consisting of Emily Kokal, Theresa Wayman, Jenny Lee Lindberg and Stella Mozgawa. Currently touring their latest self-titled album (released in January), the band is now into their 10th year and it’s clearly visible that they’ve been together for such a length of time, as they certainly emit the appearance of a tight and united unit.
If there’s any gripe to be had with Friday’s show, it’s that the band looked a little low on energy and may well have been struggling with a touch of jet lag. For proof of this, you only have to look at their current tour schedule to see how hard they’ve been working, jetting around Europe, the Far East and Australia with often merely a days rest in between shows. As such, it was unfortunate for the Bristol crowd that bassist and vocalist Jenny Lee Lindberg was sick and unable to sing and while she was certainly there on stage in body, she looked like she’d be better off tucked up under a duvet with a hot water bottle and a sachet of Lemsip. This was surely no fault of hers as, to be fair, even the hardiest of immune systems would struggle to keep up with the kind of constant shifting of time zones and temperatures that the band have been enduring of late. If there’s any blame to be had then it’s surely on the label, which need to take some responsibility in the fact that such a crammed and hectic schedule will inevitably lead to the odd illness or below par performance here or there.
Possible tiredness aside, new album tracks Keep it Healthy and Biggy sounded great on the night and you couldn’t knock Warpaint for heart and effort and they even bowed to pressure from the crowd to play the mesmerising Billie Holiday which wasn’t even on the set-list.
Other high points included Emily’s solo performance of Baby, the simply awesome Undertow was enthralling (kudos going to Stella Mozgawa’s drum solo at the end) and new track No Way Out, which is a sure-fire sign that there’s more exciting things to come from this band.
Words and photography by @harryjroth