Having graced the Birmingham O2 Institute almost two years previously to the date, it’s clear that Warpaint are creatures of habit – or just have very firm, OCD management. However having brought out their third studio album, Heads Up, in the time they’ve been apart from the Brummies – it immediately suggested that the crowd were going to see a whole new side to the female-foursome.
Opening with second self-titled album tracks ‘Intro’ and ‘Keep It Healthy’ and most recent endeavour title-track ‘Heads Up’, newcomers were allowed an overall feel for the band in just nine minutes. However they were lost looking around aimlessly when debut album highlight ‘Undertow’ was played, setting aside the real “fans since day”.
Despite the track being almost seven years old, lead singer, Emily Kokal’s vocals were still as perfect as the day the track was written, and caused the same reaction as the first time they were heard. The versatility of her vocals weren’t heard until further in, however. It wasn’t until vocal changes from the dreary initial tones of ‘No Way Out’ to the upbeat shouts of ‘New Song’ that we really felt the range of her voice.
Instead, it was the glue of the quartet, bassist, Jenny Lee Lindberg who shone throughout. Through her vocals, bass and overall composition of certain tracks she held the band together throughout the performance and gave them their overall fresh sound – despite Jenny having time away from Warpaint to produce her own solo album.
The set then continued on to flit throughout discography, picking up classic crowd-pleaser ‘Love is to Die’ and throwing that into proceedings, causing the crowd to liven up, just in time for an encore.
Although their set was 16 tracks long and took you through every album and EP they’d ever written it seemed as though everyone was predominantly there for one song, ‘Disco/Very’, and I don’t blame them. The funk-infused track caused a dark, infectious groove to ricochet through the crowd. And as the last track of the night they were going home with it, and are probably still contaminated with it now.