Ladytron were back in town for the first time in seven years and Getintothis’ Amy Chidlow took in the sights and sounds of a special evening.
Last night’s gig at the O2 proved that we don’t need just guitars to put on a good show.
Stealing Sheep where the perfect choice of opening act. Their robotic quirky style and trio of melodic harmonies combine together so well, forefronting the modern “out there” wave of female bands that the music scene craves today.
It was a cross between performance and band as they choreographed their moves from song to song, all dressed in pink jump suits. The room was pretty full for this one, and Stealing Sheep were almost as big a draw as Ladytron. Maybe seven years away was showing and this was evidence of the new guard moving in.
But, either way, their electro disco funk was the perfect foil for Ladytron.
The band were laconic in between songs, but we did get a “Thank you very much everyone, we have been Stealing Sheep” before the last number, which drew a huge cheer. After half an hour that was it. We had seen a suggestion we’d get a full hour from Stealing Sheep given the late pull out by Haarm (for personal reasons), but it didn’t happen.
It was warming to see the band come back on stage after their set, dressed in amazing golden foil gowns, to help pack away.
Its Ladytron, as they enter the stage with vocalist Helen Marnie draped in the second golden outfit of the evening.
Three white screens dress the rear the rear of the stage – a VJ’s wet dream.
Our visual artist for the evening is another one of Liverpool’s own, Sam Wiehl. Whose portfolio includes work from the up and coming psych group The Vryll Society. The display is indescribable due to the sheer abstractness and obscurity of the images. A rotating women’s body taken from a 3D image. Amongst many other colour crazy images. An intense palate of colour, movement, and 3D technology. Truly pleasing to the eyes, particularly when overlaid with Helen’s soft retro voice.
Its one of only three Ladytron gigs happening in the UK this autumn, which makes the whole experience feel all the more privileged. A mixture of old and new sounds including some from the forthcoming, as yet unnamed, album, like “The Animals” and “The Island”.
There’s a power and a force going on here. The bass is heavyweight, but clean sounding. The vocals typical Ladytron, the synths being layered in a more sophisticated manner than early eighties or even nineties bands such as Soft Cell or Human League. The rhythm is king here.
The Lichtenstein – esque pop art projected onto the back wall of the stage just feels right. There is a temptation sometimes for bands of this ilk to play in the dark, but Ladytron gave us a proper audio visual show.
This group is cool, calm and collected but still maintain a powerful presence, dispersed neatly amongst the stage so we can all get a good view. The light, sound and visuals all came together to create an intense retro 80’s experience but with a modern twist.
Their return is welcomed and we look forward to the sounds from the new album sometime in early 2019.
Images by Getintothis’ Peter Goodbody