Glasser with Sampha
Tuesday, 22nd February 2011
The high and mighty of London indie are out in force, FORCE, tonight for the presence of LA siren Glasser, AKA Cameron Mesirow. Not one but at least two xx’ers are in attendance, as are members of WHB and The Vaccines, to witness what is perhaps the most innovative and enchanting female voice around.
Due to an unreasonably long queue outside XOYO, we only make it in time for second support Sampha. Thank god we did. A remarkable combination of soul, house and dubstep, sounding like a Jamie xx remix of Billy Ocean, and sure to break as big, if not bigger, than contemporary James Blake.
Arriving on stage in a magnificently improbable dress and Jamiroquai-esque millinery, Mesirow's onstage presence is surprisingly unassuming. Last year’s album Ring was heralded in best-of lists and sent bloggers into a frenzy, its artfully folkish electronica and tropical rhythms accenting Mesirow’s refined vocal, but would this translate to a live performance?
The opening tribal call to arms of Apply immediately fills the room and answers any doubts with an emphatic yes, with Mesirow seeming most at ease within the music and giggly and shy without. Her voice is impossible to pin down. It has elements of Karen O in the yelps, Bat for Lashes on the soaring Home, whose looped vocals produce an effect of a one woman Dirty Projectors. Despite feeling “like Janet Jackson at the Superbowl” after a self inflicted wardrobe malfunction, the pulsing electronica of closer Mirrorage gets wails of approval from the now devoted audience, before an impromptu acapella encore of old English folk song Let No Man Steal Your Thyme is the ultimate pin drop moment, and proof if any more were needed that Glasser is primed to be the Bjork of our generation.
words: Andy Porter
archive picture: Kate Goodacre