Mø // Roundhouse

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Fresh of the back off her second number one with major laser, the Danish singer takes to the stage in front of a packed out roundhouse. After some time away writing her second record (which is set to be released soon) she is back on the tour bus, working her way down England for the final night here in London.

Having seen her at a festival earlier this summer, I knew what to expect – a Mø set is a bit like one long dance party. With even her slower songs eliciting a sway from the audience. She is an example of the new wave of pop that has been slowly taking over – its catch tunes and inoffensive melodies with a edge.

Live it is much the same thing –  she leaps around the stage limbs and braids flailing, totally in the music. She throws everything into her performance and I’m in awe of how she gets through an hour long set without needing a sit down. Particularly when she braves the balcony and makes it all the way around in one song, albeit tripping over my wheelchair in the process.

She hasn’t got the best live voice in the business, but there is an edge to it, and with the lights and dance moves that is not what you are there for. The highlight of the night has to be her cover of say you’ll be there, where she bought on Mel C, cue the screams. As a self confessed spice girls super fan, no doubt that was the highlight of her night too, with her repeatedly saying thank you and hugging Mel.

She showcased some of the new tracks including her current single drum, which I’m not the biggest fan of – to me it feels unfinished and after final song feels like a bit of a let down but seems to work better live then in the single. I wasn’t sure what to expect of the new stuff – he music can be a little hit and miss, but the  tracks seem to capitalise on her energy – some of her slower songs feel a bit lack lustre at times but the new material songs promising, leaning more towards her dance sound like kamikaze and walk this way.

You can tell tonight means a lot to her – as she said, growing up in Denmark she would never have imagined that she would one day be headlining a show in London. And an hour of fairly solid dancing later, I’d say she pulled it off.

Two Door Cinema Club// New Slang

It doesn’t matter who you are, or what kind of music you’re into, I can guarantee you know the tune to at least one two door song. They’re the kind of upbeat indie that advertisers dream of. Off the back of their Reading set – which was insane, I’ve never danced so hard – they’ve released their third album and announced a string of tour dates, but have still managed to squeeze in two shows at the Hippodrome. When you consider that they’re booked for two nights at Ally Pally, it’s a confusing as to why neither of the shows tonight have sold out.

Tonight was touted as an album release party, which if I’m honest made me a little nervous. I love two door’s first albums and they’re great live but their newest offering struck me as a bit of a miss. There are a few good tracks, including the lead single wreck which was reminiscent of their previous material, but for the most part the album just seemed ok. I’ll listen to it sure but I’m not going to have it on repeat, it’s not going to be stuck in my head all day. And for a band that have made their name on producing high octane indie pop hooks perfect for the ads, it doesn’t quite live up to expectation.

So when they opened with 2 classics from their back catalogue I breathed a sigh of relief. It does seem strange that a band playing an album release show would play only a few tracks from the album. Live the newest offerings fiat better than expected, they have a little more life and it’s back in familiar territory – two door making people dance around in a sweaty room. It’s hard to put your finger on what makes two door good live. There is little interaction between songs, generally a period of silence and they set up for the next song. They don’t look particularly invested – they’re not pouring their very being into the set which is what sets a few other artists apart. So, in theory they shouldn’t be better live than they are on record. And yet they are. Everyone is dancing, everyone is into it – more than at most shows. So perhaps that’s their brilliance – their music does the work for them. I can’t help but think perhaps that won’t work with the new material. Who knows, I’ve got tickets for their ally pally show so I guess I wait and see.

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Aurora// Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Aurora is one of those rare singers that don’t come along very often. The best way to describe her would be if bjork, Kate bush and lorde had a ethereal woodland creature baby. Sounds far fetched but if you’ve ever seen her live you’ll know what I mean. I saw her at latitude, I hadn’t planned on watching her but since there was no one else I wanted to see I thought I’d give her a go. God am I glad I did. Her album is amazing, and I don’t want to detract from that, but live it is a whole other experience. She lives and breathes her music, and watching her feels almost like you’re intruding. She is so taken with the music, she embodies ever word, and yet she doesn’t lock the audience out. Tonight, at Shepherd’s Bush was a gig unlike any other I have been to in the last few years. There was barely anyone talking over the music, at times there was complete silence and looking out across the crowd there were only a handful of phones. She is so spellbinding that everyone seemed to want to just live the moment.

Between songs she chats with the crowd and everyone is hanging o her every word. She tells everyone how she is going to Harry Potter world the next day, how she requests that her band has beards all the while apologising for talking too much. She seemed completely taken aback and overwhelmed at the reception she receives. It’s clear she has not yet realised quite how special she is. I can only hope she holds onto that childlike wonder because there is no doubt her career is going to skyrocket over the next few years. With possibly the greatest live voice I have ever seen, it’s clear this quiet Norwegian girl is going to be taking over the world.

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Oh Wonder/Roundhouse/13thSeptember

Oh Wonder are something of an anomaly in the music scene today. In an age where artists regularly drop a full album with very little preamble, Oh Wonder had 12 of the 15 tracks that make up their debut album available online prior to its release. The London duo set themselves a challenge in 2014 of releasing a new song each month. This meant writing recording and adding the finishing touches to a new song every 30 days. Not something many other artists would be willing to try. But one way or another they managed it, releasing 12 complete songs followed by their self-titles album in September 2015. It was around this time they played their first live show, to an intimate 300, having previously been solely based in the studio. Fast forward to now and a having toured the world they are back in their hometown to play a sold out night at the roundhouse. dsc00537

I saw the band live at latitude festival earlier this summer and was taken aback at how polished their live show was considering the short amount of time they had been playing together. This in part is due to their separate experience, with Anthony having played in indie band Futures and Josephine having played numerous solo shows. However, there is something magical about the two live, how in tune and in sync they are with each other that makes it seem like they have been playing together for years.

Playing their own headline show they take it to another level, helped along by the crowd that seems to know every word to every song. On stage Josephine comes alive, with Anthony taking more of a backseat role as she dances around the, all eyes on her. There are a few moments when their inexperience playing venues this size shows, long pauses between songs particularly when they changed the staging to an intimate piano and acoustic guitar around a lampshade set up. Despite the few teething problems they are well worth checking out live, their music comes into its own taking on a whole other life with an audience. They even threw in a cliché outfit change for the encore, I mean what more do you want.

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