10 October 2008

Lykke Li at the Thekla, 6.10.08

(photo by Leah Pritchard)

There’s a guy like Big Jeff at every gig; flailing around to the quietest ballads, rubbing their sweaty paunch on your face, and annoying everyone, but there’s the rare occasion they actually psyche up a flagging artist and transform the evening. “You have to stop dancing so much, I’m going to crack up!” giggles Lykke Li surprisingly, after singing ‘Melodies and Desires’ to her feet. Subject to a relentless tour since November 2007, you can’t blame her for being subdued, but suddenly she’s transformed; furiously thrashing a cymbal during ‘I’m Good I’m Gone’ with her left hand, and cutting jagged shapes with the other. She jumps to the floor during ‘Dance Dance Dance’ (for a face-off with Jeff), pumping her shoulders, reminiscent of pioneering XX-chromosomed dignitaries from new wave notable Lizzy Mercier Descloux to Bat For Lashes and Camille. The frustrated mews of ‘Little Bit’ float through the cage of her elbows, she clutches the air, frowning like a doe interrupted by headlights, but then breaks into the Justice-esque playground sing-along of ‘Breaking It Up’, slinking into A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘Can I Kick It?’ Yes you can, Li. Maybe even better than Jeff can.

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