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Elbow / Bat For Lashes Live Review

iTunes Festival, London Roundhouse - 07/09/12

Natasha Khan's latest incarnation as Bat for Lashes has seen her ditch her all female band and now oft-copied face paint and hairband look for a fitted jump suit and a black-clad male trio backing her.

Despite now looking a little less 'kooky' and more like she could be the entertainment on a cruise liner, Khan has thankfully lost none of her earlier magic, and remains one of the most engaging performers around.

Working her way through an energetic set drawn largely from her first two albums along with a handful from forthcoming The Haunted Man, Khan was all smiles and dance moves for her pop-centric new material like Oh Yeah, while torch song Laura was a the gorgeous, show-stopping highlight.

Already critically feted and with a loyal following, on the strength of tonight's performance Bat For Lashes could well be about to make the leap to mainstream cross-over success, and thankfully without having to sacrifice any of what makes her so special.

Now well into their second decade, Elbow took to the Roundhouse stage as Olympic-soundtracking, radio show hosting national treasures.

Garvey's gang are skilled pros at working the crowd, all entertaining anecdotes and riotous sing-a-longs one minute and fragile, heartfelt moments of delicate beauty the next.

The band, accompanied by strings and horns, played a set drawn largely from their last three albums, with stand-out songs including Puncture Repair, Lippy Kids, Weather To Fly and, rather unsurprisingly, a round-roof-raising finale of One Day Like This.

Elbow's Roundhouse Set List:

High Ideals
The Bones Of You
Mirrorball
Leaders Of The Free World
Grounds For Divorce
The Loneliness Of A Tower Crane Driver
The Night Will Always Win
Puncture Repair
Some Riot
Lippy Kids
Station Approach
Weather To Fly
Open Arms
The Birds
One Day Like This

 

Gavin Cullen