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Live Review: Bat For Lashes – 24th June 2024 – Barbican, London, UK

4 min read
"A beautiful marriage of music, dance, spirituality and art – last nights Bat For Lashes performance was simply exquisite!" - our full review of @BatForLashes who captivated at the Barbican Centre this week

The summer concert season is well underway for 2024 and its really starting to take some incredible shape with so many incredible artists making their way around the country. With our calendar already starting to burst at the seams, we were debating whether or not it might be possible to fit in another show this week, having already committed ourselves to 3 others in the space of 6 days, but after the rave reviews of the new album by singer and multi-instrumentalist, Natasha Khan – otherwise known as the electrifying Bat for Lashes – we couldn’t let the opportunity of seeing her live show to support the LP slip through our fingers.

We recently attended a show by Beth Gibbons at the Barbican Centre only a couple of weeks ago and we were really impressed by the performance space so it seemed unsurprising that Khan would opt for this venue when bringing her The Dream of Delphi tour to the capital. The acoustics within its 60’s style, curved wooden interior are fantastic for her style of mythical dream pop.

With colourful imagery hung behind the overtly spiritual singer and band members Charlotte Hatherley and Laura Groves, the show opened with the eerie At Your Feet and following new album title track, The Dream of Delphi – the latter being one of many numbers written and performed in loving tribute to her young daughter. A poem titled “If You Be The Universe” would make an appearance later into the set and be met with such a still silence from the crowd that the very drop of a pin could echo around the gorgeous performance chambers.

Dressed in a white puffy shouldered, thigh length pleather dress and eye-catching red boots, the musician showcased her immense multi-instrumental talents across a wide range of catalogue gems including mesmerising performances of Tahiti, Daniel and closing standing ovation earned, Laura.

Khan’s influence within the eccentric world of folklore pop has even taken her to the big screen by way of Beck collaborative number, Let’s Get Lost which they worked on together for Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack and performed last night to a deafening applause from fans. The inclusion added a touch of mythical Hollywood grandeur to the thoughtful set which touched on most albums from the singers impressive 6 album back catalogue. Confessing to not having previous chances to perform songs from her 2019 Lost Girls record due to lockdown, promises were kept and delivered upon early in the night with a stunning rendition of The Hunger pulsating through the venue as Khan occasionally hit a drum that was positioned to her right.

Sounding like a beautiful mash-up of Tori Amos meets Christine and the Queens meets Bladerunner – Khan’s brand of baroque pop is something really quite special. And intensely captivating; her seasoned, operatic style vocals flowing effortlessly through the venue during slower songs like Lilies and the melodically haunting, Mountains.

The odd howl echoed the Barbican hall and encouragement to join in with Khan had the crowd erupt with returned howls and Khan confessing “I’m with my people”. And she really was. The crowd were enamored with last nights performance from the very first note to the final choreographed touch of abstract dance that came hand in hand with most songs delivered by the musician who also confessed to feeling intimidated by the performing in such a beautiful venue. She was on full display as she moved gently from her front and centre placed microphone to her keyboard that was positioned toward the rear of the stage. Even with a couple of encore moments of forgetting her lyrics due to nerves kicking in, the crowd roared back with touching reassurance as well as a laugh with Khan telling the crowd, “you didn’t expect stand up comedy”.  The adoration was never lost on the gracious singer, who often spoke to the crowd in soft tones, through her captivating storytelling, anecdotes or the many “thank you’s” to the crowd following most songs offered up.

A beautiful marriage of music, dance, spirituality and art – last nights Bat For Lashes performance was simply exquisite!

Setlist:
At Your Feet
The Dream of Delphi
The Hunger
Mountains
The Wizard
Sarah
Tahiti
Let’s Get Lost
Daniel
Home (Baauer cover)
Close Encounters
Moon and Moon
Letter to My Daughter
poem – If You Be The Universe
Lilies
Kids in the Dark

Encore:
All Your Gold
Wilderness
Laura