The last time I ventured to the O2 forum, I watched the wonderfully cool Temples in all their splendor as they beautifully unveiled their debut album. This time, I am here to bask in the sound of North London three piece, Daughter.
As people began to fill the ground floor and upper seated tier of the open and ornately embellished venue, support art Pixx took to the stage. The lead singer, Hannah Rodgers presented her soft voice across bluesy tones and dreamy percussion. Her Red telecaster reflected the venue’s lights as she swayed to the beat; think Lily Allen, Grimes and Marika Hackman all rolled into one. The fur coat she donned complemented her skilful upbeat yet largely acoustic-vibed guitar playing. Pixx is a memorable act; definitely one to watch.
The faintest notes played as Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli & Remi Aguilella – better known as Daughter - took their positions. Minimal sounds grew until their guitars rang and voices reflected across the walls. ‘Doing the right thing’ gave us overdriven guitar, a sharp bass riff and atmospheric noise that reverberated in all directions; revealing the vast spectrum of Daughter’s sound. The audience couldn’t help but fall for their lyrics, “I just sit in silence, let the pictures soak.”
During track ‘Shallows’ the audience welcomed dynamic guitar plucking and a soulful melody; very delicate and broken, reminiscence of Ben Howard, making the silent audience stand on edge. Flipping between softer and stronger sounds, song ‘How’ displayed a beautiful resilience in the form of indie rock; think Beach House and Gabrielle Aplin. Track ‘Smother’ saw deeply touching lyrics and emotive instrumentals invite the audience to break through into a heavier dimension of emotion. Piano notes struck alongside the careful humming of vocalist Tonra.
Song ‘Youth’ invited the whole audience to play. This song was loud and bold, recalling memories of The Killers and The Kooks. Singing lyrics “You're the lucky ones”, we were tonight. ‘Winter’ proved another highlight song, with its unique structure, building bridge, percussion and use of guitar slides adding so many layers to this vast piece.
‘Medicine’ was full-sounding with its shimmering guitar, echoing vocal and fast punk rock rhythmic links that were not as heavy as you'd expect. The song perfectly matched the band’s choice of lighting; subtle and easy on the eyes and yet, unstable and reactive.
The band’s appreciation for the crowd was heartfelt as they highlighted this show as the last of the tour. Their encore rivaled the band’s main set. The rhythm of ‘Made of Stone’ brought electric sorrow to the mix in a record that truly captivated the audience Adding a second guitar, depth and scope surrounded the piece, creating an astounding atmosphere. ‘No Care’ was of the most energetic on the playlist; rebellious, fun and ending the show with a bang. Drums rolled and raced like a Foals song; a brutally honest track with a lot of energy and grit to it.
The constant exchange of overdriven renditions of their music was unexpected, but in a good way. Another Live Performance that needs to be recorded and made available. But until then I'm confident those who were at the show will not forget such an astounding performance in a hurry. Daughter seamlessly mixed old tracks from their 2011 releases to their brand new 2016 album.
If you haven't heard of Daughter yet, I advise you to listen to the songs on their albums and live on Youtube.
Words and photography: Luke Cole