It’s perhaps a strange moment of symmetry, but earlier I was fortunate enough to catch some of Fever Ray’s set, also in the UNCUT Arena. Clearly, there’s some parity between Karin Dreijer Andersson and Natasha Khan. Both own a significant debut to Kate Bush, and both are convincing exponents of their own, fantastic interior world.

It’s perhaps a strange moment of symmetry, but earlier I was fortunate enough to catch some of Fever Ray’s set, also in the UNCUT Arena. Clearly, there’s some parity between Karin Dreijer Andersson and Natasha Khan. Both own a significant debut to Kate Bush, and both are convincing exponents of their own, fantastic interior world.



It strikes me that it’s Andersson who seems most connected to Bush’s more recent works. Perhaps I’m reading too much into the fact that Andersson referencing “dishwasher tablets” in “Seven” corresponds with Bush’s line about washing machines in “Mrs Bartolozzi”, but there. Anyway, we’re not here to talk about housework.

More pertinent, perhaps, you can see further parity between the artifice concocted by both Andersson and Khan. While Andersson wears her face masks; thus it is that Khan wears her requisite head gear. The world Khan evokes, though, seems more beguiling in some ways than Andersson’s. While I dearly love the Fever Ray album, Andersson erects a number of barriers around her songs that Khan doesn’t. She has a certain beguiling, innocent charm. It’s not an insult, I think, to suggest there’s something quite sweet, almost sixth form, about her outfits and her stage persona, and the rather giddy way she brings you into her music. In a similar way, perhaps, to Florence Welch – you either go with it, or you don’t. In much the same way, you’re prepared to engage with the interior world evoked by Robin Pecknold with the Fleet Foxes.

Anyway, let’s get the Bush comparisons out of the way. And how can you not have to address it, when Bat For Lashes open with “Trophy”, a percussive heavy number that can’t help but bring to mind “Hounds Of Love”? But – and this is the thing I like most about Bat For Lashes – there’s more going on than, hey, just Natasha Khan’s own dreaming. This is evidenced by the guitar playing of Charlotte Hatherley – a brilliant confection of Celtic swirls that call to mind everyone from Gary Marx in the Sisters Of Mercy to some of the more pensive work of Robert Smith in early Cure, or tense, wired post-punk.

The UNCUT Arena, incidentally, is satisfyingly packed. There are, unfortunately, one too many prams being herded around in pitch darkness, which isn’t entirely sensible; although you might think it an entirely appropriate and bewitching end of night for many a small child.

That’s it for us tonight. We’ll be back tomorrow with a pile of fun, including our own David Quantick interviewing Rotter’s Club author Jonathan Coe, a friend to UNCUT Shane Meadows, White Lies, Grace Jones and a personal favourite – Spiritualized. We’re off to roam the woods now to see what shenanigans we can stumble across. There might even be a beer.

MICHAEL BONNER