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Well, after 'The Mudkiss Punk Party' on Sunday it was time to wind down and what better way than to go and see Bat For Lashes. Although a Wednesday night gig isn’t really conducive for me being mid week and work the next day. However we were at our favourite venue Manchester Academy to see Bat For Lashes, fronted by Natasha Khan, supported by a band we were unfamiliar with Yeasayer all the way from the USA. They describe themselves as Enya with bounce. The house was filled to the brim, with a mixture of ages, mainly down the front the younger element, some adorned with head feathers and sparkles.At this point I have to apologise for the quality of the images, I did apply for a photo pass many months ago and heard nothing back, so had to take my compact digital.The photo pit was pretty packed though!

We didn’t have long to wait to find out about Yeasayer, initially I thought they would be a little dreary, as they appeared somewhat electronic based, but after a couple of songs they soon warmed up and some beautiful sounds emerged, which transported me to hot climates, such as Australian & South African drum beats, shiny happy people with sounds to match. I have to say the guitarist reminded me of a young Joe Strummer, which can only be a plus. Photos here
The Band: Anand Wilder, Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton

Bat For Lashes appeared 15 mins later, they opened their set with 'Glass' the first track from their 'Two Suns' album, to a loud reception, they obviously have a big following in Manchester. It was an interesting stage set with screens dotted around the stage with views of a desert, a variety of musicians, some playing a various instruments, violins, guitars, piano and a large drum. The lighting was amazing, a really good show overall with good vibes coming from the crowd this evening, although some of the audience had to lower the tone with remarks such as “ I want to have your babies”, and “Your God”, really is there any need?
On a more personal note I’d hoped Natasha would be more aesthetically pleasing in her choice of attire, having previously been quite flamboyant. However on this occasion she wore a lil frumpy dress, barefooted and leggings, although we had a little eye glitter! And she did some pretty nifty barefoot moves, it was almost like watching a mixture of Bjork, Lily Allen, Kate Bush and Enya, but oh what beautiful, soulful, dramatic music, transporting us to other worlds. Natasha played the harpsichord and piano, joined by some excellent drumming from Sarah Jones.

I loved the way the band all clapped in unison to ‘Trophy’ and 'Priscilla'. The beautiful song ‘What’s A Girl To Do’ was dedicated to “All the ladies”. The songs swung between romantic and dark poetic lyrics with an ethereal quality. Natasha might only be slight but she amazed me the way she managed to own the stage, with perfect pitch and spectacular professionalism and huge sound which filled the hall. The band were also a delight to film, so here's some more images and of course the video clips.  Photo Gallery

Setlist:  Glass, Sleep Alone, WIzard, Bat's Mouth, Horse & I, What's A Girl To Do, Daniel, Tahiti, Sirens Song, Trophy,Two Plants, Perals Dream, and returned to a raptourous encoure with Big Sleep, Wilderness, and Priscilla.

The Band: Natasha Khan, Ben Christophers, Charlotte Hatherley, Sarah Jones. 

Review/photos/videos by Mel 14/10/09

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