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Fever Ray's Live At The Troxy (almost) does justice to one of 2018's most exhilarating live shows

"Live At The Troxy"

Release date: 02 August 2019
31 July 2019, 13:25 Written by Kate Crudgington
In Fever Ray’s space, no-one is made to feel like an outsider.

Whether that space is between the grooves on her new vinyl Live at The Troxy, or the physical space at the London venue itself that was littered with signs promoting gender neutral toilets and women to the front - everyone is welcome in Fever Ray’s warped and wonderful world.

That invite is not solely extended to fans, either. Fever Ray (aka Karin Dreijer) pushes boundaries behind the scenes too. Whilst touring latest studio album Plunge last year, Dreijer was adamant she wanted to work with as many women and non-binary people as possible, which resulted in five other women/non-binary performers being invited to collaborate on the production and design of the show.

Dreijer’s band and crew had a diverse set of needs - many of them having childcare commitments - but all were accommodated in true Fever Ray style. Dreijer’s commitment to supporting others in music both on and off stage laid the context for her sold-out performance at the Troxy in March 2018, which is now available on deluxe, triple LP heavyweight orange vinyl via Rabid Records.

Live at The Troxy sounds every inch as intense as the performance it honours. The sensational “An Itch” opens the record, with Dreijer’s crystal clear vocals sweeping across erratic percussion and synth samples. The crowd’s cheers are discernible between songs, but they scarcely interrupt the torrent of electronic sound that Dreijer and the band unleash. Whilst the majority of the setlist is made up of tracks from Plunge, songs from Fever Ray’s self-titled 2009 album also make the cut - “When I Grow Up”, “If I Had A Heart”, “I'm Not Done”, “Concrete Walls”, “Keep The Streets Empty” - all have their place on this sixteen track recording.

For a live record, Live at The Troxy sounds remarkably polished. The politically charged lyrics on “This Country” - “Free abortions / and clean water / destroy nuclear / destroy boring” - resonate because their delivery has been captured so well on audio. The same can be said for stand out track “Falling”, with its desolate, atmospheric synths and Dreijer’s powerful vocals. “Red Trails” translates well too, with its slower tempo, orchestral elements and Dreijer’s trademark poignant lyricism and urgent delivery. The warped hymn “Concrete Walls” precedes the gleeful, erotically charged “To The Moon And Back” - over which the crowd can be heard rejoicing after Dreijer delivers the stand out line “I want to run my fingers up your pussy”. A blend of strong live production and post-production have clearly brought Live at The Troxy to life.

However, the aesthetic is just as important as the audio when it comes to Fever Ray’s shows. Dreijer’s vision is unique and unrelenting, so the only quality lost in translation on the LP is the vibrancy of her physical performance. Whilst the record captures Dreijer’s voice beautifully, the absence of the visuals - particularly her band’s costumes which no description will do justice - are what made the original live show so joyful. No doubt, the LP’s artwork and exclusive poster will feature photographs of this, but in order to get the real Fever Ray experience, it’s best to be a part of the crowd, looking up at Dreijer and her crew, open-mouthed and in awe.

Having said this, Live at The Troxy is still a gem of a record that acts as affirmation for those who were there that the show was as spectacular as they remember, and as a legitimate teaser for those who want to catch Fever Ray live next time she’s in town.

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