The sound system at Oslo bar in Hackney is one of the best you’ll encounter at London’s smaller venues, and it was particularly effective for the dense, enveloping sound of Jane Weaver. The front row is perhaps a tad too close to the stage and although I tried to remain absorbed in the music it was difficult to not just be an observer, but I couldn’t help being entranced by Weaver’s stage presence and outfit – a sculpted silvery retro-future top and glittery eye makeup.
Jane Weaver is currently enjoying a surge in popularity with consistent airplay on Radio6 Music, notably material from her album The Silver Globe. It was this body of music that took up most of the hour-long set, that is, after the opener, 2010’s The Fallen By Watch Bird, with its eerie and tribal refrain summoning us to accompany her on a mystical, musical journey.
Set against a muscular, driving bassline and wall of dense synth/guitar, Weaver’s voice adds a spacey, ethereal lightness, the two elements balancing each other, creating almost visible layers. There’s the Hawkwind riff-laden Electric Mountain superimposed with Weaver’s Goldfrapp-style whispery vocals. As for the sultry, playful Mission Desire, this surely has all the right components for a Bond theme.
One of the joys of seeing an artist live is the way it can alter your appreciation of their music. The number which I felt stood out on The Silver Globe was Argent, but after seeing Weaver live, it’s Your Time in this Life is just Temporary which I’m now captivated by: its depth and drama, the Kate Bush-style wail, it is a distillation of what makes Weaver distinct and unique.
Weaver comes across as a refreshingly grounded and modest artist. She engages in a little banter between songs but it looks as if there’s a strict time policy so there’s no time for any extended off-the cuff ramblings. For an encore, Weaver takes up the guitar, and the five-piece play a couple of numbers, which includes her latest single I Need a Connection.
THE SMALL PRINT
WHO: Jane Weaver, support Tender Prey
WHEN: 22 October, 2015
WHERE: Oslo, Hackney, London
TICKETS: £10 approx
Catch the rest of Jane Weaver’s tour at
23 The Exchange, Bristol
24 The Green Door Store, Brighton
24 CLWB IFOR BACH, Cardiff
28 Various Brighton venues, Mutations Festival