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All that glitters...Roundhouse, Manchester (May 16)
Successfully translating a record as multi-faceted as ‘Santogold’ to the live arena was always going to be a tough proposition. And though you can’t fault her ability to work a crowd (“You’re the best audience in the UK so far!” she tells us repeatedly), there’s still the impression we’re watching karaoke – albeit really good karaoke – rather than a bona fide live show tonight.
Backed only by a pair of dancers/backing singers and a DJ, it’s a stripped-back set-up, one that doesn’t really suit the in-your-face pop explosion of the album. If they were augmented by live musicians, it’s easy to imagine songs like ‘LES Artistes’ (she should give Yeah Yeah Yeahs a call!) and ‘Say Aha’ (Reverend And The Makers, perhaps?) taking the roof off venues this size. However, tonight’s minimalist stage show is a similar experience to listening to the album in the comfort of your own living room.
Finishing off with a mesmerising ‘Creator’, there’s no doubting the quality of Santogold’s material, nor that she’s a star in the making. Yet on this evidence there’s still some distance left to run before she makes good on her promise to “deliver the explosion” in that song.
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