LIVE REVIEW: First Aid Kit, The Staves @ O2 Academy, Newcastle (04.11.18) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: First Aid Kit by Lauren Dukoff

It’s rare to find any venue full half an hour before the support band start but such is the draw of the sisters Stavely that a queue around the block met anyone who turned up before the doors open. In what felt more like a co-headline show The Staves treated fans to two new songs from an as yet unnamed record; Satisfied and Next Year Next Time, a mesmerising reworking of The Waterboy’s hit The Whole Of The Moon as well as songs from their resplendent back catalogue.

A huge black curtain hung at the front of the stage drops to reveal First Aid Kit. It’s typically the sort of stage prop that British alternative bands seem to have cast aside for being ‘too pop’ but First Aid Kit clearly didn’t get that memo – the Soderberg sisters put on a proper show. Forthright messages about the prominence of violence against women (You Are the Problem Here) somehow make happy bedfellows with sickly sweet Scandi-Western love songs (Silver Lining and the seasonally appropriate Firework) laced with gratuitous pedal steel solos. The Staves rejoin for a lukewarm cover of Lykke Li’s Hard Rains Gonna Fall but sadly (and predictably) most of the nuances of both acts vocal quality are lost on the venue’s sound system though judging by the roar following set closer Emmylou, few cared.

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