BANKS is an enigma to most. She defies every pop star stereotype there is, instead choosing to follow her own path both creatively and personally. There’s a darkness to her methods which makes her all the more mysterious and, in turn, intriguing. Her live shows are performance art at its very finest; as she took to the stage at London’s Eventim Apollo it was immediately clear that this one would be no exception.
Two dancers, one either side of BANKS, added to what was a hauntingly beautiful show. Their faces were covered and their movements were fluid, complimenting both each other and the talented singer between them. It’s not uncommon for pop stars to have backing dancers of course, but there’s just something so very powerful about the way BANKS utilises her own.
The UK and Europe adventure that BANKS is currently in the midst of is the last leg of a tour supporting her sophomore album The Altar. As a result, it should come as no surprise that a large chunk of her set list draws from that very album. Luckily, she also offered up a number of tracks from her debut, Goddess, and later in the set performed a remarkable cover of Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’. BANKS’ version was notably sombre, as the songstress retained her usual style in putting a spin on the classic hit.
The fantastic set list was improved still by the addition of newer material from BANKS, ‘Crowded Places’, which isn’t drawn from any upcoming album release but instead was released as part of the soundtrack of the TV series Girls. A ballad in its rawest form, her performance of it on the stage was nothing short of moving.
This may have been the last the UK will have seen of BANKS for a while as she no doubt heads in to the studio to work on her third album, but she made sure to go out with a bang by leaving every person in her audience feeling inspired.