“I’ve got a friend with a melody that will kill.
She will eat you alive.”
Everything I’ll ever write about Warpaint will just be a poor attempt at saying something I haven’t said before. Even that sentence is weak. To me, I think they are everything a band should be. On record they send you to a different world. When you see them live it is like you’re in a dream- the reality after all of this is of course, pretty shit. But Warpaint have this beautiful way of making you feel something truly precious as you watch them sing the songs that make you shut your eyes, sway and dream. See on record I suppose it is quite easy to do but to able to do it live, must take some work right? Not if you’re Warpaint. They make it look so easy, and if you’re like me and musically untalented- you will leave a Warpaint show wishing you could play something.
Before I get into the magical world that Warpaint led the crowd into last night, I must mention that their support act All We Are are bloody brilliant. As I was listening to them I immediately thought of Baltimore’s finest, Beach House. Last time I saw Warpaint the brilliant PINS supported them. Their ferocious and sinister music was the opposite of what Warpaint offer, but I loved it. Then again, I just really love PINS and would happily watch them live over and over again. All We Are have this gorgeous ethereal sound, and I truly hope that the crowd left as fans if they weren’t already. They too, like Warpaint make you shut your eyes and sway to their delicate sounds.
Warpaint’s setlist is a wonderful mix of new and old tracks. Their new record is stunning live. Disco/Very live is one of the best things I have ever seen. Warpaint aren’t really a band you can dance to; they are a band to dream to but Disco/Very is a song that just makes you jolt your body about in whatever way you want. I just LOVE the lyric, “Only in the sound of the voices I scream.” If anything, Warpaint stand for freedom. They make you feel entirely free as you watch them. I don’t think I’ve ever watched a band and had a constant smile on my face, until last night. There is something special about Koko that just made it perfect for Warpaint to play here. I saw them play Brixton Academy and I honestly think their show at Koko had a lot more soul to it. I don’t know what it was to do with, all I know is that it was a pleasure to watch and be part of.
For some reason I decided to have a little cry when they played Undertow. I wasn’t expecting it, but it just happened. There is a lot of sentimental value to that song for me, but I have no idea why I had to bloody cry! They played Billie Holiday which was like being guided through a dream and into the unknown. I just want to go back to Disco/Very because I REALLY love Jenny’s voice on this. All of their voices together sound like haunting chants; as of they are calling you towards something quite eerie but you go alone with it because it feels right. Drive is powerful to witness live; the lyrics are beautiful to this one and I think it is the way that Emily sings this song that makes it feel quite sacred. Apparently Baby was down as part of the encore, but it didn’t happen. I wish it did but they closed the set with Elephants which is pretty much one of the best moments of musical history….EVER. The song on record is a forceful thing, but to see it live is something else.
Watching Warpaint live is like watching a band play in their rehearsal space. It feels very personal but not intrusive. Once you see them live, you simply don’t stop. I feel as if I am missing something with knowing I won’t see them again until they come back down here. Warpaint live is a salvation for the soul. It is escapism and discovery. They are everything a band should be. They way they perform together is such a joy to watch, you sort of can’t imagine music without them. What did we do before them? The band formed on Valentine’s Day 10 years ago and are evidently one of the strongest bands around. My record collection would have been lonely without Warpaint.
I found myself listening intensely to them last night with my eyes shut, but when I looked around I saw a lot of people were having the same reaction as myself. There was one guy in the crowd who had enviable dance moves. If anyone knows him, he was the guy with a white t-shirt near the middle with a beard and tied up hair- if he’s your pal, I do hope you go out dancing with him and you learn from him because he’s amazing!
Warpaint fans know just how special this band truly are. Their music is treasured and adored for all the right reasons. It is pure and uplifting. It is everything music should be. The way Jenny and Stella laugh with each other on stage, the way Theresa carries herself on stage and the way Emily seems to lose herself the most in the music is what makes them a sacred. Of course they all lose themselves in the music, and that’s how it should be. They just make you want to go home and learn to play an instrument. There is no doubt that they are the best at what they do. And I’m always left in awe of the way Stella plays the drums and sings at the same time. Same with Sandy from Dum Dum Girls and Sophie from PINS. Maybe if my name began with an S I’d be able to do the same.
There are many bands that everyone should see live, but I urge you to see Warpaint wherever and whenever you can. I just wish I was a billionaire so I could pay Warpaint to sing to me everyday. There was something about last night’s show that just left you without words to describe it. You just left in awe knowing you had seen something remarkable.