On Friday night I went to a gloriously intimate gig at the slightly hipster and very bohemian venue Zigfrid Von Underbelly in Hoxton, East London. I went to see the fiercely unique and wonderfully dark indie band Birdeatsbaby, who was supported by two fabulous bands named Zara and Hana Piranha.
The weather that day was abysmal and I ended up wandering around Hoxton Square in the pouring rain for far too long due to my inability to read maps, but when I finally got to the venue it was warm and colorful and the bar staff were very friendly. The gig took place downstairs in the venues room, which had the appeal of being intimate and yet surprisingly roomy, it also had a seating area which was great as most of the time you can’t even dream of sitting down during a gig, especially not in comfortable plushy chairs. It gave the room a great relaxed and chilled vibe, which went really well with the general attitude of the night. The room had snazzy wallpaper, a glittery disco ball, atmospheric lighting and lots of Birdeatsbaby merchandise, including a rather fetching ‘human’ skull.
The stage was small, but still large enough to separate the band from the audience and give them space to jump around, and the venue really reflected the dark yet quirky image of Birdeatsbaby and their supporting bands.
I got downstairs just in time to hear the first band Zara begin their set. Zara has three band members, a lead female singer on vocals and guitar and two males on guitar and drums. I hadn’t seen or heard them before tonight but I was instantly intrigued by the lead singers voice and outfit. They had a loud rocky sound and very loud guitars and at first I was a little worried because the instruments were drowning out some of the singing (which would have been a technical issue, not the fault of the band), but it got a lot better as their set went on and I ended up really enjoying their later songs, especially ‘Pretty please‘ and ‘Screaming‘, which had a really good beat and strong lyrics.
I also particularly remember their song ‘Honey inside‘, which had a catchy and memorable chorus and I will definitely need to look up that song and add it to my collection. The lead singers voice was sometimes drowned out by the instruments, but it got stronger and stayed strong during this song and it ended up being a really memorable and energetic start to the night. Check them out and listen to ‘Honey Inside’: https://www.facebook.com/ListenZara
Next up was Hana Piranha, whom I already really like so am probably a little biased, but I very much enjoyed their set. They are very at ease with the audience, always have great energy and stage presence, and are fun and engaging to watch. They are lively and seem to really get into their songs and give it their all, which in turn makes their audience and fans more engaged with the music. Hana Piranha also has a fantastic, strong and raunchy voice which gives their sound that bit extra and works very well.
I love Hana Piranha’s use of violins in otherwise heavy rock songs, that touch of classical music really adds to the sound and feel of the music and gives it a depth and uniqueness that is missing from a lot of other rock bands (although I am also just a sucker for a violin). They are able to convey a lot of emotion in their songs and often delve into dark themes that you can relate to and empathize with. As per my last review I again have to mention the song ‘Chipping myself away‘, which I’ve heard several times live but always strikes me as one of their best and most popular songs, and one that I can imagine being played on the radio and attracting a large crowd at an alternative music festival. Another song I have to mention is ‘Blue Sky’s‘, because it has the best violin intro and is instantly recognizable, its another song that you would recognize anywhere as being unique to Hana Piranha and anyone who hasn’t heard it really should.
We also heard some of their newer songs, including ‘Fishing with dynamite‘ which, although I hadn’t heard it before, I can still remember some of the lyrics and ended up humming the tune in my head on Saturday, it was really catchy and I definitely need more of it in my life.
They played several covers on Friday, and I loved how they put a Gothic twist on several well known songs, my favourite being their rendition of ‘Sweet dreams’ by the Eurythmics’. They incorporated the violin to really make the songs their own and give them a unique sound, I definitely ended up preferring their rendition of ‘Sweet Dreams’ to the original. All in all it was a really strong performance that the audience really responded to, and I can’t wait to see them live again. Check them out: http://www.hanapiranha.com/
The previous acts were fabulous in their own right, but Birdeatsbaby was definitely the main attraction. Featuring their wonderfully ethereal singer Mishkin Fitzgerald, their set was packed with old favorites and much anticipated new songs from their upcoming album which will be released next year. Mishkin is the lead singer of this band and is fantastic both in Birdeatsbaby and as a soloist, but the other band members didn’t disappoint either. Hana Piranha returned to the stage to sing and add her violin to the mix and guitarist Gary seemed to be a favorite with the crowd seemingly just from being himself, throughout the night you had many audience members crying out “Garry!”.
They have been together a while, and you can tell because they have great chemistry together as a band and really seem to enjoy playing together on stage, which is great from an audience point of view as it is much more fun to watch. They played old favorites such as ‘Bullet’ And ‘Drinking in the Day‘ that most of the audience already knew word for word and could sing along to, and as an extra treat they also played some brand new songs including a very enchanting song called ‘No Mirror‘ which I am very excited about and can’t wait for the release.
Mishkin Fitzgerald has a very natural, soft yet powerful voice that gives Birdeatsbaby its unique and slightly otherworldly sound. I have never been disappointed by one of their gigs and definitely plan to attend more in the future.
What I love most about Birdeatsbaby’s live shows is how informal they are, that many of the audience members are friends with the band and the band will watch the previous acts and support them in the audience rather than hiding behind the wings and disappearing straight after their set. They support each other and have a good enough relationship with the audience that we want to support them, that the audience is more like friends then fans. It was a great night, if you are in the London or Brighton area you should try and come along to one of their shows: http://www.birdeatsbaby.co.uk/, if you want to get a real feel of Friday’s show check out some video footage from the night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-k1mM9vV5k