The Scotch club near St James’ park was a pretty apt setting for Karin Park’s album launch. Dead animal heads and taxidermy scattered the dark wooden walls as we were lead into a smoke filled basement. Here is where we found a silhouette of supermodel stature centre stage, clad in a skeletal white lace. Drums crash as Karin and her brother begin a forced acoustic set (power issues) of ‘6000 years’, ‘Restless’ and ‘Wild Child’. You could tell that the synth led band were slightly knocked by the lack of electricity, but it worked to their advantage as Karin’s vocals could weave in and out of subtler noises.
Once power had been rebooted the brooding undulations of ‘Tiger Dreams’ swept the over the audience. Karin’s fierce delivery of lyrics gave to a pretty tense live version. With a cute and Nintendo-esque chorus this track is a highlight from Highwire Poetry. The Gothicness didn’t stop there, with ‘Explosions’ and single ‘Fryngies’ also rendered with a slick layer of evil. Karin’s voice sparkled and cracked as she smashed her way through the choruses of ‘Fryngies’, no doubt partly due to the whisky she enjoyed whilst performing. The track had huge momentum and drove to a full on assault of the final chorus, just like the studio version.
Even though the majority of tracks highlighted Karin’s ferocity, there were also tender moments showcasing her softer side and song writing skills. As an encore she returned to the stage to play ‘Albert’s Law’ armed only with her keytar. This was by far the most beautiful part of her set. I swear that the audience moved as one, shifting forward subconsciously like seafaring sailors to a siren. As the keytar shared its final sounds Karin uttered, barely speaking ‘I’ll say the magic words, till you’re beside me’, and with that she was gone. We were left completely stunned and I can genuinely say that everyone was encapsulated in a shared moment in that dank and smoke filled basement. Focused entirely on a dark figure that was so tall their head appeared to have brushed the ceiling. The studio version of ‘Albert’s Law’ and closing track to Highwire Poetry is just as crushing and beautiful.
Overall – thoroughly recommended, thoroughly put on repeat.
Purchase Highwire Poetry on iTunes here and listen to some tracks over on Myspace.
Words by Robert Slade (@Rigilmusic)