£5 doesn’t get you much these days. At the Notting Hill Arts Club it will get you 1.5 cans of larger for example, or 70% of a rum and coke. More importantly tonight though, if you are prepared to queue, £5 will get you live sets from two of the hottest new acts around at the moment. 150 or so people are soon crammed into a tiny underground sweatbox to witness the debut UK show from New Zealand duo Broods and a special super intimate set from the incredible and surely soon to be massive, MØ.
This may be Broods first UK show but, with a previous musical life and shows around the world already behind them, it is not their first rodeo and immediately it is clear that they are more than ready. The crowd sings and dances along as the duo move through the sounds of their debut EP, throwing in a Sunday morning vibed reimagining of an Empire of the Sun track along the way for good measure.
“Never Gonna Change”, “Pretty Thing” and “Coattails” are expected highlights from an all round fantastic set but the surprises come from how warm, engaging and self-depreciating the pair are. A couple of their countrymen may have expected them to be shit, but everyone in the room knows this is about as far from the case as you can get. The biggest surprise of all comes from Georgia who is revealed to be a stunning and captivating frontwoman in waiting. All eyes are on her (sorry Caleb) as she dances and sings from behind a keyboard, injecting additional passion, energy and (dare we say) sexiness into their more relaxed numbers and a touch of class and reverence when playing solo on the set closing unnamed new song.
Surely a move to the very front of the stage is in her future as is, unquestionably, even greater success and recognition for the siblings.
If the crowd were excited for Broods, they are bordering on combustible for Karen Marie Ørsted. A ticking timebomb of pop magnificence with the timer permanently set at 0:00, MØ explodes onto the stage and has the audience in the palm of her hand instantly. The low ceilings and tight walls help create a ridiculously frantic atmosphere as she cavorts wildly, flinging her plait viciously, a tasmanian devil of whirling intensity and sass as she pumps the crowd into a frenzy. Everywhere you look, people are dancing, jumping, smiling. At the very front of the crowd to the very back and even behind the sound desk, there is a wave of movement as we are electrified by this incredible young singer.
“XXX 88” threatens to bring the roof down upon us and as we all sing along deliriously to “Waste of Time” and “Pilgrim” there is the undeniable sense that we are witnessing something special. Even the relative calm of her Spice Girls cover (getting its live debut) has people moving and singing along. Time and again in the set she drops into the crowd to dance and sing amongst us, venturing as far as her mic chord will allow as she leads us in a chant along.
She closes her quickfire but incendiary set with latest single “Dance With Nobody”, a beautiful irony as tonight she is dancing with us all. She is also cementing her position as probably the most exciting new artist on the live circuit right now and as she leaves the stage, all smiles and sweat, we stand in a similar state wondering what the hell just hit us but desperate to do it all again.
£5 doesn’t get you much these days, but spend it wisely and it will get you the best gig of the year.
Photos: Abi Dainton
The ‘Broods’ EP is out now and available from iTunes and will get a limited edition 12-inch vinyl release on 7 April.