An invigorating and memorable show
Grimes - Live At XOYO, London

Well, someone’s been shopping at Cyberdog. Grimes appears on the stage in a haze of smoke, adorning a fluorescent green something or other (it hasn’t got sleeves whatever it is). Appearing behind her is a sweaty topless male and a wide-eyed female. No, this isn’t a band, they’re the backing dancers. Wasting no time, she and her small setup throw us into a whirling pool of psyche altering electronic sounds, sending the XOYO gig into a mid-‘90s rave in a matter of minutes, provoking a large number of partly head-shaved androgynous beings throwing their arms up decorated in glowing jewelry.

It is an intimate affair - don’t get me wrong - but XOYO is packed to the max. There are people popping their heads round as they stand on the stairs, wondering why they can hear Grimes but can only see the exposed nipples of a dancing man. Since appearing on Jools Holland and being on the cover of magazines, this up-and-comer’s popularity has exploded in such a short time - tonight’s capacity and atmosphere could tell you that alone.

A largely appealing factor about a Grimes gig is that no one knows what the hell she’s singing about, counteracting the mostly annoying fan sing-alongs that inevitably happen at gigs. Whether it be ‘Vanessa’ or ‘Be A Body’, her words are shrouded in a mystery that we might never actually uncover. But tonight the sound at the small London venue is crisp and concise, and whatever she is singing about is heard clearly throughout the sold out venue, making her already invigorating presence all the stronger.

She plays standout songs ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Genesis’ from latest album ‘Visions’ right next to each other, and it’s around this time that another two greased up male dancers enter the stage, adding confusion to some onlookers and ecstasy to others. Either way, it’s a pretty memorable stage show.

Grimes exits the stage for the night around the 50 minute mark, leaving a lot of fans quite startled since she has three albums in her catalogue. But at this stage of her career it’s always good to leave people wanting more. Her appearance on Jools Holland was a major catalyst in getting noticed by a mainstream audience, and if she’s not careful they’ll swallow her whole and forget about her before she even comes out the other end. So thanks, Grimes, for leaving us banging our knives and forks on the table. We’ve got the taste and we want more.

Words by Jamie Carson
Photo by Olivia Ford

Click here for a photo gallery of the gig.

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