Into the Pit: 157: Rebekah Delgado – Live at The Water Rats – 06-February 2013

After a fairly lengthy break from gig-going after a very busy 2012 – aside from the special occasion of Kraftwerk in Germany last month, this show marked my return to attending London gigs, and indeed it is the first of a number in the next few months.

I have to confess that I didn’t pay much attention at all to the support acts, choosing instead to catch up with a few friends in the bar. I did have a cursory listen to She Makes War, however, but I’m afraid really wasn’t taken with what I heard.

Rebekah Delgado had a good 2012, from what I could tell – a well received debut album, and a number of very good gigs (culminating in her brilliant Bush Hall show in the autumn). So of course, as we enter 2013, it will be interesting to see where things go from here.

New music has been promised, for a start, but there was none of that here, but there appeared to be good reasons for that. For a start, there have been significant personnel changes in her band, with no less that three new members of the band to “bed in”, and from comments at the end of the show where “more” was demanded, it was clear that the new band have only learnt what was played so far!

Rebekah Delgado setlist

Little Boy Blue
Don’t Sleep
Palabras Para Julia
Ménage A Moi
Sing You Through The Storm

I Wish You Were Mine

Not that this mattered. This show was certainly not the sound of a rusty or unpracticed band, indeed absolutely the opposite – despite seven or eight people being onstage at any one time, some feat on the relatively cramped Water Rats stage – and this was the sound of a confident artist showcasing her strongest songs to a very busy venue.

Yeah, so the opening Little Boy Blue sounded a little muddy and just a tiny-bit-out for about…oh, five seconds, but after that, everything slotted into place as it should, and frankly by the end of the set my only complaint was that it was that bit too short. But I’d rather that – being left wanting more – than being disappointed in any way. This shortened set also perhaps highlighted all of the strongest moments in the Delgado catalogue nowadays, too. The dramatic sweep of Don’t Sleep and Lamentine, the seething, bitter hatred at the core of Scoundrelle, and the fun, sexy Ménage A Moi that in lesser hands would be little more than a gimmicky calling card, but here – as always – it actually comes across as intended.

Indeed, for me this helps to show just why her music is seemingly gaining new fans at a prodigious rate. Dramatic, sexy and dark pop songs that contain great hooks, and after just one album she has a distinct style of her own – no-one right now sounds anything like her. On this evidence, 2013 looks bright for Rebekah Delgado.

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