Skip to content

Live Music: The Noisettes @ The O2 Academy, Birmingham


noisettes1The Noisettes were one of those bands that seemingly came from nowhere and took the UK by storm this past summer. Their songs were included in several TV adverts, the trio appeared at just about every music festival going, and Shingai Shoniwa was regularly featured in magazines, newspapers and on a number of TV shows.

Their latest album, Wild Young Hearts, definitely formed part of my summer soundtrack, and so when I saw they were playing in my home city I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to brighten up a dull autumn.

After a slight delay hitting the stage, the trio kicked off with their biggest hit top date, ‘Don’t Upset The Rhythm’. This seemed a bit strange as bands usually save their signature piece for the end of the show, however this should have told us that this would not be a ‘by the numbers’ performance. Shingai came to the stage shoeless, dressed in a black vest and frilly tu-tu, with her trademark ‘fro in place. Her energy from the off was fantastic, and it seems, contagious as the crowd went wild as they began to play the opening notes of current single  ‘Never Forget You’.


The band performed most of the album, including my favourites ‘Sometimes’, ’24 Hours’ and ‘Cheap Kicks’ and the energy never let up once. Shingai alternated between playing her trademark bass guitar, dancing on speakers and generally leaping around the stage. As the show drew to a close I was thoroughly impressed but couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed that they hadn’t performed ‘Atticus’ (probably my favourite track on the album). Literally as the thought entered my head a neon-lit rope ladder descended from the ceiling which Shingai promptly climbed as Dan (Smith) and Jamie (Morrison) began to play ‘Atticus’. Once she had reached the top she proceeded to hang upside down whilst singing the track, miraculously never missing a note!

shingaiAfter the aforementioned stunt the crowds were going wild and it seemed that The Noisettes had more than pleased the Birmingham crowd, however the band had one final ace up their sleeve in the form of a cover of T Rex’s ‘Children Of The Revolution’. The crowd erupted, even those who were too young to know the original (they were probably familiar with it through it’s appearance in the Billy Elliott movie). At one point Shingai disappeared from the stage, although she could still be heard, only to reappear running through the crowds up on the balcony (much to the annoyance of her security staff). She then decided to climb over the balcony barriers and hang backwards out over the crowds  20ft below, before returning to the stage to accept the bands well deserved applause.

I’ve made much of the amazing energy and stage presence displayed by the band, but I do need to point out that the instrumentation and vocals were equally top-notch. Whether upside down, leaping off speakers, doing star jumps or playing bass Shingai and the guys sounded fantastic.

Sadly their UK tour is nearly at an end, however if you do get the opportunity to catch them live I strongly suggest you take it. You will not be disappointed!

One Comment leave one →
  1. 03/11/2009 5:05 pm

    The beautiful Shingai and I used to attend the same performing arts company in South East London many moons ago. She did more acoustic soul/folk in those days. It’s cliche to say but even back then I knew she was destined for big things. Just as I started to wonder what had happened to her the Noisettes burst onto the scene. Good to see genuine talent rewarded with success.

    Shalom, T x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: