You’ve got to love Rock City in Nottingham. It never changes. It still has the same sticky floors it’s always had, the same stinky toilets and the same cans of warm Red Stripe lined up behind the bar like a homemade shooting range. For all that, I do love it. It’s one of my favourite music venues. Tonight though, it feels odd. It’s hard to put my finger on it at first. I’m standing on the stairs at the back watching the last two songs from the support band, Yeasayer, and waiting for Bat For Lashes to come on. Yeasayer are pretty good. I’m happy because I’m in Rock City and I’m watching a band play and the place is fairly full, although not sold out. But there’s just something wrong.

When Natasha Khan walks onto the stage she gets a loud and enthusiastic reception, and through the evening, between songs she is met with shouts of ‘You’re amazing!’ and ‘Awesome!’ to which she smiles and says thank you. She has a beautiful voice and puts in a brilliant performance. Although her second album, Two Suns, didn’t cause anywhere near as much excitement as her first, Fur and Gold, tonight she manages, in my opinion, to make the songs from Two Suns actually sound better live than they do on the recording. Daniel, not my favourite Bat For Lashes song, is certainly my favourite song of the night tonight. She puts an energy into it that isn’t there on the recorded version. It sounds damn good. Unfortunately the crowd still aren’t moving though. Despite the obvious talents of the musicians on stage, playing everything from accordions and base drums to tambourines and cowbells, in fact I’d be hard pressed to think of an instrument that wasn’t played tonight, there is no electricity in this room. I’m aware that it very much depends on your position in the crowd as to how these things appear, but certainly from where I’m standing there doesn’t seem to be too much excitement going on. I don’t know why, but there just isn’t any atmosphere in Rock City tonight. Everyone is standing still as if they are waiting for something to happen. Yes, there are a few people there who obviously love Natasha Khan and have gone to town with glitter on their faces and headbands, but it’s still quiet. It’s fairly full, but it’s quiet.

For the encore Natasha sings beside a back and white video image of herself in a blonde wig. This is her new alter ego, Pearl. The real Natasha sings and Pearl sings back to her. It might sound a bit ‘arty’ which it is, but I loved it… but then I would.

Bat For Lashes leave the stage at the end of the evening with a few waves to the audience, and they are gone. The crowd immediately files out of Rock City, still quiet. Natasha Khan is an excellent performer, a hugely talented musician, songwriter and singer. So, I’m left feeling unsure as to why the crowd seemed so flat. But this is Bat For Lashes. They look like they rode straight out of a fairytale, the songs are about wizards and magic. So maybe the audience wasn’t flat, maybe they were spellbound

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