For a name that is hardly household, Natalie Findlay has done a fine job of selling out the iconic 100 Club on London’s tourist-packed Oxford Street. People continue to come in and ask if there are any more tickets on the door and light up when they realise a very limited number still remain. The venue is incredibly intimate, with the stage taking up less space than the bars on either side of the room and the walls covered with incredible photos of the uncountable number of legendary acts who have played that same stage since the venue opened in 1945.
Opening act LSA, an acronym for Love Stays Alive, are unassuming as they step onto the stage straight from their spot in the crowd where they were sipping pints with friends and punters. They play quickly and with minimal stage banter, yet manage to draw a sizeable crowd from those all gathered around the bar. The music itself comes across as an enjoyable mix of The Strokes, The 1975 and Arctic Monkeys, and can be heard on their debut single ‘More or Less Equal’.
Despite the band only being on stage for approximately twenty minutes, they make an impact in the room with the live music bringing a whole new palpable atmosphere to the room and leaving the ever-growing crowd ready for Findlay.
Findlay soon graces the stage herself, her black hair long and loose across her oversized leather jacket. She opens with ‘Sweetheart’, her band paying attention yet the only sound coming from her voice and the mimic of a heartbeat being tapped on her microphone. The song instantly showcases her incredible vocal range and the room is so quiet, the only other noise heard is the murmuring of the bar staff. She barely whispers her thank you before the crowd erupts at her truly memorable opening.
The band kicks in and they power through songs such as ‘Sister’, and ‘Gin’ (which is introduced by Natalie as being “about drinking gin and faking orgasms” with a giggle), which are filled with energy and have a very punk feel, with the frontwoman growling down the microphone like some sort of modern day Brody Dalle.
The music slows down for ‘Stoned and Alone’, when Natalie picks up a teardrop-shaped guitar and begins the soulful track, with many audience members singing alone. She ends the track by telling the crowd “you look beautiful. I’d pay to see you! This song is called ‘I Had To Try it Once'” and launching into the pop rock sounding track, which could easily be heard on mainstream radio in the coming months with its cheeky lyrics and upbeat sound.
The first and only ballad of the night comes next with ‘Black Cloud’, which is also the first song to be played off Findlay’s newest release, Greasy Love EP. The piano led song is beautiful, for lack of a better words, and the whole room quietens down from the light chatter that was previously there, but are quickly shocked back into form with ‘Fever’, where drums kick in suddenly and it’s almost as though the crowd comes alive through the music of the band and its enigmatic frontwoman.
The songs are powered through and before you know it, the last song is being announced, with promises of it being “a good one, don’t worry” and ‘Off and On’ bursts into the room, with Natalie telling the crowd they “better fucking dance… On a Tuesday!” and everyone in the room heeding that. The drums are booming and the gestures are dramatic and the energy is the highest it’s been all night, so when the stage is left with a microphone dropped on the floor and the sound of feedback as only encore this crowd is getting, it’s more than enough to ensure this crowd will be keeping a keen eye out for Findlay’s return.