It's been a long time since the artist formerly known as Santogold graced a London stage as headliner and she wastes no time in hitting her stride in front of a sold-out crowd. A blitzkrieg 'Go' sets the pace before the comforting familiarity of crowd favourites 'Les Artistes', 'Lights Out' and the call and response interaction of 'Say Aha'.
'We've got some new songs for you tonight,' a proclamation full of unbridled enthusiasm, paves the way for the stadium sized epic 'God From The Machine' with its huge synths and military style marching drums. After a flurry of heavy thrusting and dirty bass we get the first of the night's multiple costume changes, the dancers whipping off their tops to reveal black and white equestrian outfits swirling ropes before provocatively in the company of a pantomime horse. Its tongue in cheek humour is just one facet of the party vibe that encapsulates the mood whilst the chunky guitar licks and skanking reggae vibe of 'Disparate Youth' are received like an old friend.
This is swiftly followed by the similarly green, yellow and red tinged brand new track 'This Isn't Our Parade'. Despite never having been played live before, it displays barely a trace of nerves and shows promise for future material.
During 'Creator' she invites a gaggle of audience members up on stage to dance with her. Cue embarrassingly hilarious white boy moves, girls getting down low and mass dancing as the temperature in an already hot venue edges up yet another notch. With her scattergun stylistic approach it's logical to end with the big room Guetta-esque electro of 'Big Mouth, incendiary from the very first chord and triggering a sea of side-to-side swaying hands with little needed by way of coercion. Credit must go to her tight as skinnies three piece backing band who take care of maintaining a rich intense sound throughout with little in the way of glamour. The spark is provided in abundance by her duo of dancers whose high energy prop assists dance routines, colourful outfits and bucket loads of sass are a constantly entertaining visual focal point.
A set spanning the best material from both albums and an encore containing the peerless 'You Will Find A Way' ensures everyone goes home smiling with their favourite tune hatched and dispatched. Fancy choreography, costume changes and performance aside, artist stand and fall on the quality of their songs. Tonight Santigold aptly proves that she has the material to silence style over substance doubters.
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