Search The Line of Best Fit
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Sky Ferreira – The Basement, Edition Hotel, London 30/01/14

31 January 2014, 16:55 | Written by Thomas Hannan


Sky Ferreira has a way of coming up smelling of roses, I’ll give her that. Even though many diehard fans were turned away from this drastically oversubscribed, competition-winners-only show, and despite starting half an hour late – and stopping after only a handful of songs – I can’t find it within myself to give it a slating. I’ve ended up kinda liking her.

My problems with the evening don’t end there, either. The venue – the basement of the vomit-incudingly swank Edition Hotel in Soho – is one of these horrid places where they employ someone to sit in the toilet and spray cologne in your face as they offer you a lollipop (not in a Camden Barfly way either – think more dreadful nightclub) and as a room generally possesses all the soul of an investment banker at a strip bar. That said, it seems to suit the clientele – the amount of posturing here is matched only by the numbers of people who seemed intent on inanely chattering throughout the set.

A few songs in, I find myself truly wishing some of those fanatics still begging to be let in from the street would just storm the place, bringing with them a little atmosphere. You see, things started really, really well, with Sky taking a mesmerising wide eyed stare at the crowd and running through a note-perfect rendition of “Boys”. She seems up for it, in to it, down with it – but was in the minority. They don’t dance, they don’t sing – instead, her ‘fans’ stare at her, like a road jam packed full of rabbits gazing ominously at some headlights. It’s as if many people here hadn’t thought what it might be like to hear Ferreira sing songs, content enough as they are with just being in the same room as That Person From The Internet.

Weird Thing #1: Sky very quickly asks for some sunglasses, claiming the lights are blinding her. Uh… huh. She puts on these huge round things that cover her entire face, which was already pretty much obscured by a thick nit bobble hat. She looks totally bizarre, but carries on in to “24 Hours” and it sounds huge, like a more mournful “Roar” by Katy Perry.

Weird Thing #2: She claims she can’t hear a thing from her microphone. Uh… huh. ‘Cos if you ask me, she’s singing like a bird. I’m genuinely taken aback with how impressed I am by her voice, especially as it’s the sound of someone reportedly recovering from a bout of vocal nodules. Songs are started, aborted, restarted, and the atmosphere turns a little peculiar for “Heavy Metal Heart” and “Everything Is Embarrasing”, despite her continuing, to these ears at least, to be doing just fine.

Weird Thing #3: It just… stops. She’s had enough of having to struggle with her sound issues and decides to call it a night. Nobody’s paid anything for a ticket, so, y’know, whatever. Goodnight London, we’ll be seeing you. Don’t forget to tip the guy in the gents who gives you a lollipop.

And you know what, fair enough. Sky Ferreira is a great singer with some great songs, and a pretty decent (if overly posturing) live band. She shouldn’t be made to play in venues like this to people who don’t seem to place such qualities very high up their list of reasons why they want to go to one of her gigs. I found myself rooting for her all the way through it, and ultimately, totally respected her decision to cut it short. Everyone who was actually listening had heard more great choruses in the space of this handful of songs than they will at most full gigs this year. And everyone who wasn’t listening, well. They had their photos.

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