In a climate of internet-inspired insipidity, Natalie Findlay, with her potent concoction of ragged garage riffs, dark and clever lyricism, sleazy pop hooks and a soulfully alluring vocal delivery, her three EPs to this date (Your Sister, Off & On, Greasy Love) have been a refreshing reminder that there is still hope for the great, gritty pop/rock song. And in front of the capacity crowd at London’s 100 Club they were going to make that hope a reality.
Natalie and her band opened their set on a brave decision; an as-yet unreleased acapella track. Although a risk, it was one that paid off. The already poky venue became all the more intimate; the crowd fully focused on Natalie’s sultry voice. With fully-seated tables lying side-stage the atmosphere was less of a rock gig and more of a jazz club a la Blue Velvet.
However despite having eradicated the preconceptions of this just being a sweaty rock concert for the first 120 seconds, these were swiftly reinstated from the opening chords of the next song, first single ‘Your Sister‘. What became stunning apparent very quickly was just how good Findlay’s voice really is. Whilst on record Natalie remains cool and produces a seductive-yet-spiky croon, in a live setting all restraints are abandoned. Matched with the completely on-the-mark musicianship of her band, Findlay and her cohorts generate a sound fizzing with energy and determination, her already enjoyable songs taking on a whole new dynamic life.
This pattern continued throughout the set; b-sides such as ‘You Gave Me Grace‘ and ‘Gin on the Jukebox’ which although rattle along nicely on their studio recordings are given an unprecedented power which accentuate the songs’ Nancy Sinatra-esque melodies and jaunty, jangly guitar work.
Although their headline set did appear to stretch their back catalogue a little thin with some numbers evidently being EP tracks given a little less love than their lead singles, Natalie Findlay and her band proved to the 350-strong crowd that they were a group of force and great choruses that were only going to get better.
Findlay’s latest EP ‘Greasy Love’ came out last week; buy it off iTunes here.