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Live Review: First Aid Kit, Luluc

18 March 2015 | 9:35 am | Nicholas Atkins

The ethereal Scandinavian goddesses played a warm and intimate show.

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Inside the packed interior of The Tivoli, the temperature slowly rises and the awaiting crowd buzzes with electric anticipation of what promises to be a special and intimate evening. 

The unenviable task of opening for the mighty First Aid Kit falls to Zoe Randell and Steve Hassett, collectively known as Luluc. The juxtaposition of Randell’s wholesome, sombre vocal and the towering, bearded Hassett, gyrating around his electric guitars like a folky Australian Russell Brand, is certainly different and more than a little captivating. Randell’s storytelling and lyrical references to leafy trees, early rising birds and dusty old suitcases are undeniably Simon & Garfunkel-esque, a feeling compounded by Hassett’s delicate and carefully deployed harmonies. 

Luluc leave the crowd suitably impressed but visibly eager to experience the main event. Some patrons have been standing for two hours and calf muscles have started to weaken, with several of the less hardy audience members crouching on the dance floor like coiled springs ready to leap at the first sign of the Scandinavian sensations First Aid Kit. When the house lights finally dim, the stage is washed in blue and eerie sounds are overlain by the rumble of tom toms and the crescendo of cymbals. The duo of the moment appear through the dry ice and seem to float to their microphones, confident, charismatic and ethereal. Without missing a beat they launch into their super-hit The Lion’s Roar and from that moment, have the crowd spellbound. The performance is enhanced by a spectacular lighting design bursting with vivid colour and synchronicity, and between songs the Söderberg Sisters seem warm, funny and engaging, joking about their recent trip to an animal sanctuary: “You guys are probably used to seeing kangaroos but for us it was like seeing a polar bear!”

Klara’s lead vocals are record-perfect and the acoustics of The Tivoli lend themselves perfectly to the group’s sound. The strength of both of these elements is never more apparent than during a beautiful rendition of Ghost Town where the sisters dismiss their backing band, stepping to the front of the stage to perform singalong style, without microphones and with nothing but an acoustic guitar between them and the adoring crowd. The night rises and falls with moments of such intimacy interplaying with raucous anthems like My Silver Lining and King Of The World. Upon leaving, all in attendance are left physically and emotionally drained, a weary smile. on every face

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