LA four-piece girl gang Warpaint, comprised of vocalists/guitarists’ Theresa Wayman and Emily Kokal, drummer Stella Mozgawa and Jenny Lee Lindberg on bass and backing vocals, show London why you’d want to be a part of their gang. All four walk on stage silhouetted against a smoky ethereal blown up backdrop of their self-titled album cover artwork, an image of a ghostly amalgamation of all four members faces. The stage is playfully decorated with a floor running neon light, interweaved through all four’s posts amongst their musical wires, with hanging coloured light bulbs framing the band on either side.
Opening with ‘Warpaint’ and old favourite ‘Undertow’ we see a playful bond between the girls as they laugh and smile towards each other throughout. Theresa greets the audience with a British “Cheers”. Teresa’s haunting vocals are on point during the gently intense ‘Love is to Die’ as she ventures down to the front row in a mad moment that progresses into enjoying a laughing fit with them. This is followed by a smoky set for ‘Keep it Healthy’ accompanied with the girls’ alluring harmonies. Showcasing newer songs, they play the echo filled ‘No Way Out’, having only played it a couple of times.
The free flowing riffs and ethereal textures of ‘Elephants’ shake the room at the Eventim Apollo, Stella grins throughout as we can hear fans screaming praise of her rhythmic drumming skills. In between the girl’s further joke about the Queen’s presence at their show, she’s up in the top level obviously. ‘Disco/Very’ gets a bit of a makeover but none the less is greeted warming with the crowd dancing and reciprocating the playground chant lyrics.
Emily chants “Heat of a Lover” from their song ‘Biggy’ to the front row, with every word recited back to her. Playing another new song, also known as the “song that has many titles”, primarily known as ‘I’ll Start Believing’ but with a working title of ‘Riot’, demonstrates one of the great things about Warpaint, the fans can see the music developing on stage, once again highlighting Warpaint’s great quality of experimentation. This is evident when a couple of seconds in playing they come to a halt to begin the song again, after expressing ‘That’s more like it!’ Before the encore, Theresa thanks the crowd for coming back to the rescheduled 2014 tour, and deservedly so, their tour has been greatly anticipated. They return on stage as Theresa takes to the piano with the rest of the bandmates sat on the stage in a calming debut performance of ‘Son’. They play out the crowd with the beloved ‘Burgundy’ and ‘Krimson’.
Much of the set is peppered with experimental jamming sessions between them, allowing the audience a nice insight into how organically Warpaint works even to the point where you feel like you are just hanging out with them as Emily passes Stella a drink whilst Theresa and Jenny jam together on their guitars facing each other. Picking material from their first album ‘The Fool’, EP ‘Exquisite Corpse’, latest album ‘Warpaint’ with some newer songs thrown in, the show displays an impressive catalogue of their music so far, oscillating between the intimate calm of ‘No Way Out’ to the contrasting chants of ‘Disco/Very’. They end with promising to return when they’ve written some new songs. Tonight’s show confirms, this Californian, melancholic and psychedelic girl gang is one you would want to be a part of.