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St Vincent live review

Published on 25th October 2014

Annie Clark’s latest stage incarnation of St Vincent is not so much a live gig than a theatrical statement, complete with bouts of rigid choreography and sporadic performances atop a high central podium. Across festival stages this summer, such originality was a delight, but six months of hard touring has clearly dulled the magic, with each band member now performing as if on rails, the dance moves unwittingly awkward and even Clark’s improvisations – usually so engaging and knotty – giving off an air of will-this-do.

While the elegant songcraft and Clark’s musicality still shines, a naff portentousness overwhelms her set, punctuated by two rather whiffy inter-song monologues worthy of Winona Ryder’s character in Heathers. It’s a pity: at her best St Vincent is a mesmerising performer. Tonight, unfortunately, she appears to have trouble inspiring even herself.

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