REVIEW: Banks - Live at London's KOKO, Camden
Last night (Tuesday) saw The Street Gypsies head down to KOKO in Camden for the final night of LA based singer/songwriter Banks’ tour. Right off the back of the mega success of her latest EP “London” and being featured on various ones to watch lists for 2014 it’s safe to say she’s as hot as they come. Against a back drop of perfectly measured mood lighting and synth howls she emerges centre stage launching straight in to “Before I Ever met You”. I love that song- but it isn’t until my absolute favourite song “This Is What It Feels like” that she seems to settle in to place. Vocally she doesn’t try to do too much- there’s a restraint (which may come from lack of ability- but probably more to do with good judgment) that lends itself to conveying the emotion her lyrics are so heavily steeped in. She’s really stunning in person and navigates the stage with a quiet confidence and swagger that contrasts against her almost shy timid sounding speaking voice.
This is where things get a little cloudy. The set then turns into a bit of a synth-indused blur, making it hard to really tell the difference between songs. It isn’t until the funky take on “Warm Water” that we get to see a different side to Banks- a fun side! Clearly someone in her team has seen how well this works and a few new songs that she works in to the set seem to follow suit- whilst maintaining her signature electronic groove.
She closes the set with a new track “Goddess” which sounds like a gem before returning for a (pointless) encore performance of a The Weeknd track “What You Need”.
Overall the show was worth the visit. It was refreshing to not be ripped off by an artist (tickets were £15) and have them come out and show you exactly who they are at this moment in time. She didn’t pretend to be a pro- there was no attempt at disguising her greenness with stupid video interludes or long speeches- she just sang. Emotive stories set to a slight groove seems to be what works best for Banks and I definitely looks forward to hearing more from her once she’s ironed out the kinks.