thu 02/02/2023

First Aid Kit, Eventim Apollo review - joyful folk rock | reviews, news & interviews

First Aid Kit, Eventim Apollo review - joyful folk rock

First Aid Kit, Eventim Apollo review - joyful folk rock

Adventures in Americana to warm a cold December night

Swedish sisters, Klara and Johanna Soderberg of First Aid Kit

Growing up in Sweden, sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg developed ways of combatting the biting cold and bleak darkness of winter. As well as writing during wintertime, they turned to the open landscapes and pervasive desert heat of the USA to inspire their music. Perhaps it is this that brings such a warm sheen to their presence.

On a stage ablaze with the iridescent shimmer of a huge sun backdrop, the duo open with “Palomino”, to a retro film screen of horses running free and wild. The Nevada aesthetic continues with “Angel” and “It’s A Shame” accompanied by Super 8-style films of golden sunsets, rolling clouds, nostalgic seascapes and soft light that brings a glow to this cold December evening.

Their energy is as fresh and vibrant as a pair of Palomino horses, as they skip around the stage dressed in Americana costumes of white flared suits and longline crocheted cardigans, flinging hair over their guitars and lying on the floor, platforms in the air. They describe the overwhelming emotion after taking time out and going through a difficult time, with Klara revealing: “I kind of lost the joy for music, and it was really hard. But making this record I found it again.” She expresses her gratitude and celebration by absolutely belting out old and new tracks including “The Last One”, “Rebel Heart”, “Stay Gold” and “Wild Horses”, whilst bathed in balmy stage lights that match the rich and honeyed vocals.

But where Ruins was a breakup soundtrack, and “performing those songs every night was soul crushing”, this show is full of joyful extroversion and an embrace of the journey. This is evidenced nowhere more so than the raucous “Hem of Her Dress” in which we are told: “don’t sing it pretty, sing it like you’re drunk” and everyone joins in with the “Lalalalalala lalalalalala lalala” bit and the band joins the duo one by one with a mariachi guitar and accordion in a super kitsch showdown as we all say “hell and have another one” to the story of some guy calling to say he’s found someone else with pretty eyes.

Alongside an acoustic moment referencing the days of travelling around the UK, staying in Travelodge’s and eating breakfast in Little Chef, there is an incredibly moving rendition of “For You”, dedicated to Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac who recently passed away. Older tunes that we wait in anticipation for explode in an epic finale including “Emmylou”, “Fireworks”, and “Out of My Head”. There is an Abba-esque, full sequin tasselled costume change for “Master Pretender” and “My Silver Lining” before we head out into the frosty night, still glowing from the spine-tingling harmonies, vicarious road trip and heartwarming musical resonance.

A super kitsch showdown

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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