Noisettes run wild at intimate gig

PERFORMANCE ART: Noisettes singer-bassist Shingai Shoniwa took the crowd by storm at Avalon last Saturday, captivating them with sultry vocals and back-breaking dance moves.


    Jun 10, 2013

    Noisettes run wild at intimate gig

    ARTIST: Noisettes

    VENUE: Avalon


    WHEN: Last Saturday, 7pm

    EVERY Noisettes performance seems to transcend the limits of showmanship and turn into something akin to performance art.

    Comprising singer-bassist Shingai Shoniwa and guitarist Dan Smith, the duo made their Asian debut of latest album Contact here last Saturday night at Avalon as Shoniwa burst onto the stage with the relentless energy of a child - she writhed, shimmied, shook and captivated with sultry vocals and literally back-breaking dance moves.

    Formed in 2003, the British band not only brought the house down with their trademark theatricality and an array of musical genres, but they were also doing good as part of concert sponsor and online fashion store Gnossem's initiative "Gnossem Goes Global", in which all profits go to the Milk (Mainly I Love Kids) fund for disadvantaged children in Singapore.

    Shoniwa made her entrance in a gold mermaid dress and sky-high heels, though the heels didn't stay on for long. She kicked off the set - and her shoes - with the mesmerising Wild Young Hearts (from the eponymous album, 2009), immediately referencing Singapore with altered lyrics like "If now is forever, then what's to prove/Cause it won't be the same next summer/And I guess I'll see you in Singapore/Somebody tell me, when will I learn".

    The singer filled the stage and the audience with infectious energy as she pranced and bounded across the stage with her back-up singer during 2009 club hit Don't Upset The Rhythm (Go Baby Go).

    And her antics continued throughout the set, like falling to her knees several times in a soul version of 2009 dance track Hey Hey and climbing onto railings (much to the chagrin of nervous Avalon staff, who held her feet in place at times) while singing Never Forget You, the 2009 single that propelled the duo to mainstream stardom.

    But that wasn't the last of her wacky dance moves. The highlight of the show was a beautifully-arranged version of old favourite Don't Give Up (What's The Time Mr Wolf?, 2007), in which Shoniwa showed off her powerful vocal range as well as her legs, as she fell to the floor and kicked up her feet in tune to Smith's impressive guitar solo.

    The band then toned things down a bit with jaunty acoustic number Ragtop Car (2012) and a heartrending performance of Atticus (2009).

    But Noisettes have never been one for placidity. Just as the crowd calmed into a slow dance rhythm, Shoniwa cartwheeled across the stage as the band seamlessly segued the ballad into a cover of Earth, Wind & Fire's 1977 hit Fantasy, declaring "now's the time to get crazy".

    How else can a Noisettes show end, without losing yourself completely to the music?