Sleater-Kinney perform first full UK gig in 10 years as UK tour begins in London

Band performed at Roundhouse in Camden last night (March 23)

Sleater-Kinney made their live return to the UK with a triumphant London gig last night (March 23).

Although the band’s reunion tour brought them briefly to Newcastle as part of this year’s 6Music Festival in February, the Roundhouse gig in Camden marked the first British headline date in a decade.

Arriving on stage to rapturous applause, the three piece; Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker and Janet Weiss, played a set filled with material from throughout their career plus new album ‘No Cities To Love’. The set opener, ‘Price Tag’ came from that album as too did ‘Bury Our Friends’, ‘A New Wave’, ‘Fangless’, ‘No Cities To Love’ and ‘Gimme Love’.

Interaction with the audience was kept to a minumum with Tucker breaking the silence to say “Thank you London, we’re very happy to be here” prior to ‘The End Of You’. Similarly, Carrie Brownstein dedicated ‘A New Wave’ to Tina Belcher, a reference to the animated character from TV show Bob’s Burgers and the star of the song’s official video.

Joined on stage by touring member Katie Harkin, better known for her band Sky Larkin, Sleater-Kinney performed songs from across their seven album back catalogue with both ‘Words and Guitar’ and ‘One Beat’ receiving a warm welcome from the sold out audience. Meanwhile, songs such as ‘Sympathy’ (from the 2002 album ‘One Beat’) and ‘The Woods’ single ‘Entertain’ were propelled by Weiss’ powerful drumming.

The main set ended with ‘Jumpers’, originally on 2005’s ‘The Woods’, before the band returned to the stage. Standing front and centre and speaking to the audience with just a microphone in hand, Tucker said: “We’re very happy to be back playing here again. We know things have changed but things haven’t changed enough. So we say: give me respect, give me equality, give me love!” The band then began their encore with ‘No Cities To Love’ song ‘Gimme Love’.

With the audience at fever pitch by this point, the members of Sleater-Kinney relaxed with Brownstein’s theatrical guitar playing becoming more pronounced; kicking her legs, jumping in the air and stylishly riffing her way through the songs. Tucker, meanwhile, dramatically fell to the floor during ‘Gimme Love’.

The 100-minute set ended with ‘Youth Decay’, ‘Let’s Call It Love’ and a melodic ‘Modern Girl’ which saw Brownstein sing the line “hunger makes me a modern girl”, the title of her upcoming memoir, with Weiss playing harmonica from behind her drum kit. Sleater-Kinney then ended their first UK gig in 10 years with the rapid fire ‘Dig Me Out’.

Sleater-Kinney played:

‘Price Tag’
‘The End of You’
‘What’s Mine Is Yours’
‘One Beat’
‘Bury Our Friends’
‘Surface Envy’
‘Get Up’
‘No Cities to Love’
‘Turn It On’
‘No Anthems’
‘A New Wave’
‘Words and Guitar’
‘Gimme Love’
‘Youth Decay’
‘Let’s Call It Love’
‘Modern Girl’
‘Dig Me Out’

Sleater-Kinney’s UK tour continues tonight in Manchester. The band will play:

Manchester Albert Hall (March 24)
Glasgow O2 ABC 2 (25)
Dublin Vicar Street (26)