LIFE at Lafayette

Originally planned for April 2020, tonight was my first visit to ‘new’ venue Lafayette. Its opening was unfortunately effected by COVID. It’s from the same people who manage Omeara. It’s based in one of the new buildings that have appeared around Kings Cross. As you would expect, it’s a high quality venue which also features a restaurant and bar. The layout of the venue is a bit unusual. The venue is a long room with the stage running the length of the room. So the audience are never too far away from the stage. There’s also a standing balcony. It’s a decent new venue. But like Omeara, it’s heavy on security and officious about bags and cameras, so it won’t be a venue I will choose to go to.

I had been really looking forward to this gig. LIFE are a fantastic live band. It seemed like lots of other people I know felt the same. Tonight’s gigs seemed to be full of people I know. Clearly I know a lot of people with good taste.

Supporting LIFE was Nuha Ruby Ra. I’m really not sure how to categorise her. ‘Art’ probably needs to be pre-pended to the category, her music is very much part of a performance piece. Starting off with a stereotypical ‘Native American war cry’ using two microphones over a dark industrial influenced electronic music. I really liked it. I reminded me of the 90s industrial scene with the heavy use of samples and dark soundscapes. While her performance kept my attention, I would love to see her with a band behind her. It could be truly next level stuff.

LIFE have always been a mixture of catchy songs and great live performances. In Mezz, they have a truly great front person, in the Jarvis Cocker mould. A gawky self confidence, with self aware cheekiness. The rest of the band support him, but never play second fiddle.

After nearly two years away. Tonight they started off with a bang, with their hit Popular Music. A perfect way to get the crowd going after such a long time away. This gave them the momentum to throw in new songs, which signal a change to their sound. The pop edge seemingly tempered with a more contemporary post-punk sound that wouldn’t be out of place amongst bands like Fontaines. While I can understand why they might want to move in that direction – I hope they don’t move too far away from their indie pop sensibilities, as there is no one else who does what they do. But what we heard tonight, was good, leaving me eager to see where they head with their new album.

Set list

  • Popular music
  • Big Moon Lake
  • Moral Fibre
  • Shipping Forecast
  • Hollow Thing
  • Niceties
  • Incomplete
  • Almost Home
  • Never Love Again
  • Beautifully Skint
  • F.W.N
  • Self Portrait
  • Excites Me
  • Grown Up
  • Bum Hour
  • Half Pint Fatherhood