Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Lorde - Brixton Academy, London 06/06/14

09 June 2014, 14:30 | Written by Ed Nash

So, youth culture has a new spokesperson? Actually, Lorde stands to be much more significant than that. Her three night whistle-stop in London is a timely reminder to everyone of why they fell in love with her in the first place, as well as proving that she sounds as good, if not better, live as she does on record.

Tellingly, the crowd is an incredibly diverse mix, a composite of middle aged couples, office workers, trendy types and a thousand mini-me Lordes. Lorde herself enters stage right, alone, dressed in a black trouser suit and standing under a single spotlight. She launches into “Glory And Gore”, a slow builder that showcases her wonderful voice and sets the tone for the rest of the night - an audience with Miley Cyrus this isn’t. Whilst her songs reflect pangs of teenage angst, alienation and love, delivered with an electronica soundtrack, the stories are told in a wonderfully mature voice and style that makes them universal.

On second song “Biting Down” she’s joined by a keyboard player and a drummer who stay for the rest of the evening. Its sparse rhythm is reminiscent of Massive Attack at their best and given their penchant for collaborating with the best female singers, Lorde would be a perfect fit.

Now that the voice and the band have been properly introduced, new single “Tennis Court” arrives to perfectly articulate a generation’s ennui, of which she is the anti-spokeswoman (never better than in the line “It’s a new art form, showing people how little we care”). This isn’t a raw, nascent talent on display, but the finished article without a trace of nerves in her voice or the way she moves, which is with the unrestrained joy that unfairly attracted derision at the Grammy’s.

The only point in the evening where the audience shows any impatience is when she delivers an extended soliloquy before “Ribs”, but all is forgiven when it segues straight into “Royals”. What could have been her cynical trump card is played towards the end of the set, but crucially it’s not the closer, which shows how much trust she and the audience have in the rest of her songs. Despite the broad age range of the crowd, “Royals” strikes a chord across the whole room, with its unifying theme of anti-bling and individuality - it’s “Hand In Glove” by The Smiths for the 2010s.

As on Pure Heroine, she closes with “A World Alone”. The last line of the night tells her tale so far: “People are talking/People are talking/Let ‘em talk”. Then she’s off - there’s no milking of “Royals”, and on the strength of the other songs, she doesn’t need to reprise it.

To say that London has been spoiled with three shows while the rest of the country missed out is an understatement. Lorde isn’t a fleeting wrecking ball and live she’s a force of nature. Tonight told the story of her first album beautifully, showcasing every single song from it. It’ll be fascinating to see where she’s headed next, as on this evidence one thing is certain; she’s no one hit wonder. This was a breathtaking display by an ageless talent.

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next