Live Review

Niki & The Dove, Islington Metal Works, London

Witchy and weird, but so, so, good.

When a band open a show by standing around one mic blowing bird whistles, you know it’s going to be an interesting night. Hidden away behind Angel station, the dark, gritty, rave den that is Islington Metal Works seems to be the perfect setting for Niki & The Dove’s gothy electro-pop.

Magical and moody, Malin Dahlstrom, Gustaf Karlof and Magnus Boquist, bathed in dim coloured light, down the (presumably alcoholic) contents of their bird whistles. Magnus heads to his drums, Gustaf to his keyboard and Malin stands there centre stage in a fabulous fox-detailed outfit, madly backcombed hair and, most bizarrely, a line of long fake hair along one of her arms.

Cue tribal drums plus more funky lighting and Malin shows us that mum dancing can actually be incredibly sexy. Magnus drums from under his grim reaper style hood, and when we do catch a glimpse of his face he looks, in the best way possible, like a brooding 80’s dad. The simple yet incredibly powerful music is truly epic - the strong drum beat merging with the awesome synth chords, tying together perfectly with Malin’s mystical reverby vocals.

Soon a second drummer takes to the stage, along with a few more hot, hairy girls who proceed to spin hulahoops around various parts of their body before starting a ‘Saturday Night’ style dance routine. The standout factor of Niki & the Dove’s performance is just that – it really is a performance. There’s so much going on - the theatrical lighting, the dancers, the costumes and the make up (all members are wearing glittery face paint). Fabulous. The front woman honestly couldn’t be more perfect – Malin has something magical about her. The control she has over the space, over us, and just her as an entity. She is Kate Bush.

Half way through the set, the band ‘die’ or at least hang their heads down in a pretty dead fashion, before the bass starts thumping and Malin embodies Bjork as she starts up a wonderfully shaky scream. She sings and stares into the audience with such passion, dancing as though possessed. She’s witchy and weird, but so, so, good. As we near the end of the set, Malin and the dancers move around the stage waving big leaves - anyone else would look like a complete dick doing this, but she looks incredible and we all love her.

Ending with their biggest tune, the brilliant ‘DJ Ease My Mind’ is a winning choice. With the audience singing along to the chorus, Gustaf pumps his fist in the air behind his keyboard, surrounded by strobe lighting and manic dancing. The song comes to a massive climax of several seriously epic key changes, funky dancing and mad glitter throwing. Whilst checking out their music online, is, of course, highly recommended, you really should try to attend a live concert. You will be blown away.

Read More

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Stay Updated!

Get the best of DIY to your inbox each week.

Latest Issue

April 2024

With Bob Vylan, St Vincent, girl in red, Lizzy McAlpine and more.

Read Now Buy Now Subscribe to DIY