Live Review: Warpaint @ The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh 23 Oct 2016


Five years since I last had the pleasure of watching Warpaint at the Queen’s Hall, they were back with their latest album titled ‘Heads Up’ in the same venue. A sold out crowd displayed plenty of colourful anoraks with the wet Scottish weather giving us a beating outside before getting to the venue. But we were safe now, and ready for the music to begin. It was great to have them back and Theresa Wayman, the lead singer, thanked us for inviting them to our ‘beautiful city’. It was really our pleasure.

The band kicked off the night with the title track from its album ‘Heads Up’ followed by ‘Bees’, a guitar heavy track from the band’s first album. The audience instantly began swaying as soon as we all recognised the rift. Two tracks in and the band were already demonstrating their versatility by jumping between albums, from grungier heavier songs to cleaner polished tracks from the new album. They continued with ‘Hi’ and ‘No Way Out’ before playing the opening track from ‘Heads Up’, ‘Whiteout’ which is a hypnotically haunting song about desire, with Jenny Lee Linderg’s dreamy bass adding to the evocative lyrics: “Tell me all your secrets.”

Before the band jumped into their newest single from the album titled ‘New Song’, they asked the crowd if we could guess which sound the band recorded for the opening intro within the song. Unsurprisingly, nobody guessed correctly as Emily Kokal jokingly informed us that it was in fact a dolphin cry. Whether or not the crowd believed her was a different matter entirely. For the rest of the song all that I thought of was Flipper singing along to the song, which added to the fun of the evening.

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Throughout the entire set, fans jolted, swayed and were completely lost in the haunting melodies, complex bass lines and sharp piercing guitar rhythms. After playing ‘Disco/Very’ they received an erupting ovation with plastic pint tumblers raised high in appreciation. They soon returned to the stage upon receiving a tremendously loud cry and deafening floor stomps for an encore. The band jumped straight into ‘Intro’ from its second album ‘Warpaint’, and followed it up with ‘Keep it Healthy’ and ‘So Good’, two tracks that excellently showcase the range of abilities the band have, with the harmonies in both beautifully assembled in a wave of transcending sound. The band ended the show with an old favourite, ‘Krimson’ from its 2008 debut EP Exquisite.

Warpaint again receiving an astounding ovation for their night of spellbinding, knee swaying high energy music. The crowd bouncing out of the venue, into the cold October night, with the hypnotic performance still replaying in their heads. Nothing better. They were as good, if not better, than I had remembered back in 2011, with a well-constructed set list that left all fans happy, creating an enthralling evening in a cold, wet Edinburgh. Warpaint, you are welcome back anytime!

If you like this review, you might enjoy ‘Murdered Out’, a Kim Gordon track featuring Stella from Warpaint

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