Noisettes - KOKO, London
Noisettes took 2009 by storm with the appearance of their sophomore offering Wild Young Hearts in April of that year. The collection was a great success, hitting the top ten in its first week of release and gaining Gold status as the year went on. The band seemed to be everywhere due to countless festival appearances, tours and songs soundtracking television commercials.
Success followed singer Shingai Shoniwa and guitarist Dan Smith throughout 2010 but the pair dropped off the radar slightly in 2011 while they created album number three Contact. The album is similar to its predecessor as it contains an eclectic mix of dance pop and retro sounds. It hasn't quite made the same mark with the general public as WYH but I'm sure lapsed listeners won't be disappointed when they finally get round to sampling its wares.
Noisettes pulled their set from albums two and three, with debut What's The Time Mr Wolf not getting a look in this time round. This was my first chance to hear the majority of the band's new songs in a live setting and they blended in extremely well with old favourites like 'Saturday Night' and 'Every Now And Then'.
I must admit, I'm not a big lover of the duo's more modern dance tinged material, preferring their retro tracks and slower songs. Even smash hit single 'Don't Upset The Rhythm' didn't win me over, although it went down a storm with the rest of the crowd, with the inclusion of a chunk of Snap!'s 'Rhythm Is A Dancer' adding to the fun.
I may not have devoured the dancier elements of the pair's performance but I still really enjoyed the band's show. Shingai is a terrific front woman and the duo really impressed me with their fantastic renditions of set closer 'Never Forget You' and recent single 'That Girl', a song that always brings to mind early 60s Cliff Richard for some reason!
Speaking of the 'Bachelor Boy', the band also delivered a sumptuous trio of slower tracks that really shone, including one that shares the title of one of Cliff's early singles - 'Travelling Light'. The title track of the current album also pulled at the heart strings and encore number 'Atticus' was as gorgeous as always.
'Atticus' also saw Shingai performing one of her renowned "Death Defying" stunts, as she appeared in one of the balcony boxes of the venue and sung part of the song hanging backwards over the edge of the balcony. The song's appearance is always a cue to check overhead as you never know where the singer is going to pop up!
The only low point of the night for me came in the closing minutes of the show. I had photographed the set list while in the photo pit so I could see what was coming next throughout the performance. The venue had an 11pm curfew and as the show went on I thought they may be pushing it time wise. My favourite track from the band is 'Wild Young Hearts' so I was extremely disappointed when all I got was a brief snatch of the opening chords, with Shingai stopping the song in its tracks, saying that they only had three minutes left to freak out! The band had decided to end their show with their cover of Earth, Wind and Fire's 'Fantasy', featuring support act Marques Toliver on violin. I must admit their rendition was really good and a great way to end their set so I'll let them off! Hopefully I'll hear WYH next time round as I'm sure I'll be back to see Shingai and Dan somewhere down the line.