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Music Review Ladytron make a more than welcome return

Ladytron
Roundhouse, London

 

 

THERE'S a collective call for more as Ladytron leave the stage at the end of this gig.

It's their reward for a set that has seen the band successfully return after a seven-year hiatus, with London the culmination of a short three-date tour taking in Glasgow and the band's native Liverpool.

The night starts with two keyboards centre stage at which stand lead vocalist Helen Marnie, resplendent in a bright, shimmering cape-like dress and a black-clad Mira Aroya. Behind, Reuben Wu adds yet more keys, alongside principal songwriter Daniel Hunt, wedded to his guitar throughout.

Named after a Roxy Music track, Ladytron have spent their career defying definition. Less clinical than Kraftwerk and more human than Gary Numan, theirs is synth with a poppy but somewhat sinister edge that you can't quite pin down.

Opener Black Cat, sung by Aroya in Hungarian, sees the beats pulse, drums pound and synths soar and it segues into new number The Island. But it's third song Ghosts, sung by Marnie, that gets the first big cheer of the night.

She increasingly becomes the focus, not just vocally but with her overall presence. On track after track, the rhythm in the song is repeated in the vocal and Marnie's hypnotic delivery is almost Siren-like. Seductive and shining, she moves and sways as the set progresses, stalking the stage until she has the audience at her beck and call.

The set flies by and the final two numbers sum up the slightly sinister style — Seventeen, with the refrain “they only want you when you're 17, when you're 21 you're no fun” — and set-closer Destroy Everything You Touch.

Ladytron have delivered and the mix of macabre, somewhat twisted observations, mysterious lyrics, electro pop that moves and grooves — all topped by Marnie's mesmeric vocals — justifiably add to the calls for an encore that ring around the Roundhouse long after they are gone.

Ladytron's sixth album is released in February next year, details: pledgemusic.com

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