Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Austra live review: Cargo, London 7th July.

Not surprisingly Austra were simply marvelliiisimus at Cargo in Shoreditch last week; perfect sound, arresting atmosphere and impressive laser show.  The whole production was spellbinding in operatic proportions and from someone so tiny too; Katie Stelmanis big voice must surely start in the cyber goth platforms she performs in while she enchants with beckoning dance moves.

So with the building gig excitement, note taken that Shoreditch is pretty super trendy really. Amongst all the tired East End grimness, a hub of coolness spanning most musical genres and ages and this was reflected in an audience that were, well all types mostly,  which I personally like.   

While we wandered up Rivington Street, a rich mixture of bars and music venues, Katie and her very cute twin backing singers aka Tasseomancy were spotted chilling out and mingling before the gig. My special code for occasions like this is ‘I just need to reapply my lipstick’ which means ‘band are near, pause and look cool’.  

Having omitted to share this code though, my cohort's look of confusion and then his pointing and look it’s her, it’s her, look and the twins, woop’ plus a huge amount of pointing again as they scuttled away, scared or feeling paparazzi’d of course; all very amusing though.

Bright Light, Bright Light were supporting although to be honest the lure of the quite lovely courtyard was too appealing so admittedly waited there with some wine until Austra’s entrance. Venue wise, really very nice, a huge improvement on Eat Your Own Ears choice of Electrowerkz for Niki & the Dove which to be honest was plain horrid. 

Cargo is friendly, clean and intimate for watching bands; you might want to re-mortgage your house to pay for drinks if you hung out there regularly but that’s London for you. Click below for some 'Beat and the Pulse' live action...


So now for the setlist which couldn't possibly disappoint. The opening track ‘Darken Her Horse’  teased the crowd of a back to back album order, it being the opener for Feel It Break;  sadly this did not come to fruition but there was a good choice of tracks performed. The spine chilling moment when she started the line ‘Shoot into the darkness…’ is the point you know that  the bass is going to fill your being with dark electro beat. ‘Lose itas the latest single got the crowd moving as much as it could in a very ‘cosy’ venue, no room for serious dance shapes but still better than a half empty venue.

A lovely surprise was ‘Young & Gay’ which didn’t make the album but is such a strong track, along with ‘Beat and the Pulse’, ‘The Choke’, 'The Villain' and ‘Spellwork’ (biggest woooooop in the world from my fellow gig goer, scared the living daylights out of me) and ending with ‘The Future’. There was a teaser with a new track, title unclear, after much youtubing investigation,  watch below,  it's not too wibbly wobbly and gives an idea of more excellence to come from them.

So essentially, wherever you are in the world Austra inclined lovely readers, go see them, you won’t be disappointed by the bewitchingly electro front woman as she weaves her musical spell with the help of her glittery androgynies on keyboards and guitar and hugely bespectacled drummer. Eccentrically brilliant…my only criticism was the absence of ‘The Noise’ but there has to be some tough choices made on what to take from an album of ‘Feel It Break’s quality.


  1. Everything about Austra makes me so happy. All of them seem to have their own distinct style (except for the eye glitter, which I also love). I will have to keep my out for Katie wearing cyber goth platforms. And I love that you and your friend scared them away. Hahaha!

  2. Do see them live if you get the chance...absolutely brilliant!