The Noisettes, Fibbers, 27/01/07

★★★★☆

Being billed as an ‘Amazonian Warrior with an eye for fashion’ or ‘Billie Holiday on PCP’ is something most people would find hard to live up to. But, for Noisettes singer Shingai Shoniwa, channelling the spirit of a dead jazz singer on drugs into the body of a fashionista suddenly seems somewhat restrained

Being billed as an ‘Amazonian Warrior with an eye for fashion’ or ‘Billie Holiday on PCP’ is something most people would find hard to live up to. But, for Noisettes singer Shingai Shoniwa, channelling the spirit of a dead jazz singer on drugs into the body of a fashionista suddenly seems somewhat restrained.

Over a set encapsulating most of the band’s forthcoming album, she makes it clear she was born for such gleefully outlandish comparisons. Fresh from an arena tour with Muse, the Noisettes easily take over Fibbers. A succession of anthemic singles – ‘Don’t Give Up’, ‘IWE’ and ‘Scratch Your Name’ – churn the crowd into a permanent mosh pit. The biggest eruption of the night, though, is reserved for the old-timey rockabilly of ‘Sister Rosetta’, in which Shingai straddles the security barrier before crowd-surfing the set to a finish. Basing a gig’s success on audience maiming, the Noisettes can commend themselves on leaving my friend resembling a victim of domestic abuse.

Wondrously, they’re also quite happy to ply their adoring fans with alcohol, leading me to a rather drunken purchase of a t-shirt more suited to an anorexic stunted hobbit than an actual human being. Ah well, you can’t have everything.

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