First Aid Kit, The Staves: Mountford Hall, Liverpool

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First Aid Kit

Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit were at Mountford Hall with The Staves and Getintothis’ Naomi Campbell was there to take it all in.

There’s something special about watching two siblings perform together, like watching a secret unfold before you in the most beautiful way.

Obviously it’s something Liverpool can’t get enough of either as the hustle and bustle of gig goers made their way to First Aid Kit‘s first ever gig on our soil in their extensive ten years of performing together.

Support act The Staves took to the stage with a chilling three part a capella intro which instantly silenced the excited crowd. Those who came here for the sweet sounding vocals of the Scandinavian sisters that make up First Aid Kit weren’t disappointed by their choice of support as the similarities in their tight harmonies on stage didn’t go amiss.

Blending into the room with timing Autumnal tones and appearances complete with a foreboding country sound, The Staves made themselves appear even more ominous with the juxtaposition of a cheerful ukulele. So much so, we were taken aback with their second track with the playful title Tired As Fuck. However the three sisters manage to work the badass vibes with this one by singing in unity prompting our first batch of Goosebumps of the night.

At this point we kind of regret not wearing stilettos or our favourite high heeled boots (like we always do…) to this one as the view proves difficult with the sea of heads before us which ranges from young to older generations.

Their next track, a cover Whole of the Moon by The Waterboy’s encourages a little more movement from the standstill trio and a tender laugh with the crowd encouraged by the mention of Liverpool in the lyrics.

With the end of their 30 minute set comes the introduction to First Aid Kit as The Staves guarantee we are: “in for a fucking treat”.

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With an antagonising 40 minute wait, and an interesting choice of tracks on their interval playlist including a Swedish rendition of the classic Country Girl Again our main act appear on stage and we have even managed to bustle our way to the front, and get another wine. Result.

It’s A Shame the debut single release from the new album Ruins was clearly as much of a pleasure to play as it was to watch as when the beat kicked in for the ultimate final chorus, bassist Johanna Söderberg couldn’t hide her excitement from her face, and nor could we.

Let’s not forget their incredible band, who even when dimmed in the darkness as the girls were highlighted in glorifying lights, displayed their expertise with precise application. As a group, there is an eerie, uncanny resemblance to the records. They are astonishingly pitch perfect, rehearsed to the core. The girls show their appreciation in a friendly manner by standing next to each band member one by one with the aid of their wireless instrumental set up.

The Lion’s Roar prompts hair flicks galore. If you’re waiting for your perfect action shot now is the time. With a cheeky little interaction with the audience featuring even more hair flicks comes a tap on my own shoulder to ask if we can stop taking pictures as it’s restricting the view. Probably shouldn’t have worn that fedora hat…

Such sass. Speaking of, Klara switches her acoustic for an electric guitar and a little hoarse sounding vocal, complete with the lyrics “fucking suffocate” which make up the song they wrote in reaction to rape culture. With that comes a lengthy applause from the crowd as she says, “blame and shame” always belong to the perpetrators.

All right, so we need to take it down a notch. Cue Kate Bush Running Up That Hill. With extensive radio play of this track already leading to a recording at Spotify studios Stockholm the audience were breaking out in a sweat three-seconds in, and right they were. These were angelic, sweet sounding harmonies at their best with the slightest hint of country attitude led by tempting mandolin from Melvin ‘The Tiger’ Duffy.

When they eventually made it to the long awaited fan-favourite Emmylou our goosebumps could have stood out even in the darkest corner of the room. This was the moment they let us join them on those sweet sister harmonies and allowed us to become a part of it.

For their final encore we were welcomed by the familiar sounds of the intro to ‘Fireworks’ finishing with Rebel Heart the name of the tour itself. Before you know it me and cranky ‘put your phone away guy’ were singing along in harmony again.

I guess First Aid Kit really can heal!

Images by Getintothis’ Amy Faith

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