The Knife Perform Amazing Gig in Brixton Academy, London

I first heard of The Knife, like many millions of others I'm sure,  through Jose Gonzales'  cover of Heartbeats. I liked his warm version but preferred the more driven original version. Once switched on to the sound of The Knife I went through their albums,  Silent Shout: An Audio Visual Experience became a firm favourite.

I have fond memories of going for a drive through the streets of London late at night with my best friend, when neither of us could sleep. We would wind the windows down and the cold breeze would blow through the car, the deep sonorous bass vibrating around us, surrounding us in its deep cocoon and we wound our way around the bright lights of the City and the dark streets of the East End.

With the CD came a DVD of the album performed live in Gothenburg, Sweden; it became  my benchmark for quality live performances. The songs on the live performance were amazing and dark, it lifted their music into darker soundscapes and the vocals became more distorted and eerie. As a result of this The Knife had gained a reputation for being dark moody individuals with many claiming them satanic. This gained ground as the years passed by without an album proper. Then in 2013 Shaking The Habitual dropped and whilst gaining critical acclaim was for many a slow burner, taking many listens to love. Many claimed it was a sign of their pretentiousness and high mindedness however I really liked it, my favourite track being A Cherry On Top.

Going into this gig I didn't know what to expect, I thought I'd see something akin to the Silent Shout tour but when the support act came on, a female Mr Motivator a-like, and started to perform DEEP aerobics "Death Electro Emo Protest Aerobics" I knew that this was going to be different.

When The Knife did get on stage it was suitably atmospheric with a black silhouette and a group of all-female dancers but then this all switched into bright electric blues and shocking pinks. The songs came thick and fast but were unlike the album versions. Karin announced that this was "Shaking the habitual, the Shaken Remix" and that perfectly captured the mood for the night. The songs came with a carnival vibe, with lots of samba, aruba and fast percussion. Pass This On got a samba beat,
Shaking the Habitual got a flamenco clapping and the finale, Silent Shout had everyone rapturous with a high tempo rhythm...

This was performance art at its best, loud, fun and jovial like with a deep rhythmic carnival sound and feel, all moving ecstatically to the beat. This was performance art at its best... powerful in places but very tongue in cheek, some of the dancing reminded me of an old timey musical, like West Side Story. I left the gig buzzing, and in the words of The Knife, 'Without you my life would be so boring.'


       The Setlist

  • Wrap Your Arms Around Me
  • Raging Lung
  • We Share Our Mother's Health
  • Bird
  • Without You My Life Would Be Boring
  • A Tooth for an Eye
  • One Hit
  • Full of Fire
  • Collective Body Possum (Poem) Spoken Word
  • Ready to Lose
  • Pass This On
  • Stay Out Here
  • Silent Shout