“It’s just water, I promise!” jokes Sleigh Bells’ Alexis Krauss to London’s Tufnell Park Dome as she takes a sip of her drink. “I’m a boring person.”
Sleigh Bells are about halfway into their set – their first London show in over two years – and they’ve already left a smoking, scorching trail of debris in their wake with their deadly breed of noise-pop. The show comes as a one-off special in time for the group’s fourth album ‘Jessica Rabbit’. Tonight, the Brooklyn duo seem intent on dismantling the Dome, taking North London by the jugular, raising heart rates by a thousand, and performing until anything and everything in the room is burnt down by their intoxicating electro-punk.
From the moment Alexis and bandmate Derek Miller begin the set with ‘Tell ‘Em’, one of many tracks pulled from the still-thrilling debut ‘Treats’, there’s no pause, no release, no mercy for the sold-out Dome. Alexis takes to the stage with masterclass charisma, commanding the mic stand as if it’s a weapon in warfare. The pandemonium continues with new single ‘It’s Just Us Now,’ keeping the signature fearsome instrumentation of Sleigh Bells alongside Alexis’ pop-laced verses. The set pulls on classic favourites from the band’s discography, ‘Kids’, ‘Bitter Rivals’, and ‘You Don’t Get Me Twice’ played with ever increasing riotous anarchy.
The night sees the live debut of newly released track ‘I Can Only Stare’. It’s riddled with a glistening, electro-pop sheen, Alexis’ booming vocals serenading all of London. It’s a wonderfully mesmerizing number, the shining lights that bathe both her and Derek giving an ethereal quality to the performance.
“It’s pulling my heart down,” she half-whispers, half-shouts.
It’s a wonderful quality of Sleigh Bells that they are able to deliver an unbelievably raw and intimate performance given the nature of their high-octane noise-rock instrumentation. The duo are breathtakingly arresting the entire evening, Alexis’ delivery of her verses catharsis even for the gig-goers.
By the time the end of the night comes, there’s nothing left but a pile of smoking ash that was once the Tufnell Park Dome.
Photos: Caroline Quinn
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