Last night I was lucky enough to get to go to London’s The Roundhouse, for this fantastic gig which was part of the Pitchfork London Festival. The festival has been on since the 7th and continues until the 13th November. The festival consists of many multi artist bills, curated special one off events across some of the best London venues.
When I saw one of the events was with Riot Grrrl legends Sleater Kinney as headliners, it was a no brainer. I’d seen Carrie Brownstein live in the past, but as part of the supergroup Wild Flag. As someone who loves riot grrrl but wasn’t really old enough to appreciate it in it’s time (in fact I was blissfully unaware of it then), it makes me very happy when I get to see those bands live now.
When I arrived at the venue, I was surprised to find as a guest list attendee, that I had the option to stand or to have a seat! Usually, there is no choice, you stand or if it’s all seated, then you will be allocated a ticket. Feeling quite tired, I opted for the seat. The seat was on the balcony and in the second row, so the view was pretty decent and at least I knew my view for the evening was guaranteed, even if I had to get up at any point.
I had arrived around 7pm as the doors were advertised for 6pm, so I thought this would be a good time to arrive and not miss out on the support acts. But I think I did miss out on a few, as it was a packed line up, as the bands M(h)aol and Snooper were also part of the bill but I didn’t see them. When I took my seat, the set had already started for Black Belt Eagle Scout.
I really enjoyed the delicate Indie Rock of Black Belt Eagle Scout. Black Belt Eagle Scout is singer and multi instrumentalist Katherine Paul. She has an amazing, gorgeous voice which is smooth like honey. Katherine was born in Washington, but grew up in the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community there. She mentioned in her set, that most of her songs about connection, and how important her heritage is to her. She also played a song dedicated to all indigenous people. A lot of the songs had a dreamy feel about them but one of her final songs was a pure rock song. I was left intrigued to find out more about this artist.
Up next, was U.S Girls. Another woman with a solo project, but markedly different from the previous artist. Led by musician and record producer Megan Remy (with supporting musicians), this artist has a louder, bigger sound. There was also a lot of love from the audience, so while I was completely oblivious to who she was, it seemed she is quite well known. The music seemed to be a blend of dance, synth, spoken word, punk and experimental.
Now it was time for the main act, Sleater Kinney. Unsurprisingly, they did not disappoint. The set was a blend of new tracks (including songs from their new album coming out in January) and classics. The set kicked off with recent single ‘Hell’ and followed with a good selection from their noughties albums including ‘Jumpers’ from ‘The Woods’ and ‘Price Tag’ from ‘Cities to Love’. Then delved further back into the 90’s with ‘One More Hour’ from ‘Dig Me Out’.
Highlight of the night for me really was the sensation that is Carrie Brownstein. The whole set, her energy was amazing. Rock n roll jumps, dancing, energy…she was rock n roll dynamite personified. Not that any explanation was needed, but towards the end of the set, she spoke about how loss can happen in an instant, so she always gives everything in a performance. I wish I had written down her exact words, as although many people have said similar things before, she said it a way that was truly inspiring, and got the biggest cheer of the evening.
The band also did touch upon the Israel/Gaza conflict and announced their support for the protests that are happening on the day I’m writing this. If you would like to show support, do consider donating to charities such as The British Red Cross and UNICEF.
The setlist was as follows:
2. The Center Won’t Hold
4. Price Tag
5. Worry With You
7. Bury Our Friends
8. One More Hour
10. Dance Song 97 (Low Version)
11. What’s Mine is Yours
12. Hurry on Home
13. Cities to Love
14. Shadow Town
15. A New Wave
16. Say it Like You Mean it
18. Modern Girl
19. Dig Me Out
Sleater Kinney release their new album ‘Little Rope’ on January 19th next year.
Article by Hayley Foster da Silva