The last time State clapped eyes and ears on The Noisettes they were a little known indie band opening for Babyshambles at that band’s manic first Irish gig in the Village. Following that they were seen on these shores opening for the likes of the Holloways and again Babyshambles in such random places as Carlow in 2006. So what just happened?
Arriving at The Button Factory State is welcomed by a chalk board declaring that tonight’s gig has been moved to Vicar Street at what appears to be the last minute, and likely due to the band’s evidently surprising popularity. We eventually make it to the new venue as The Noisettes have just finished their opening number and the place is packed to capacity. Not ones for conformity the band’s breakthrough hit, the pop classic -Don’t Upset The Rhythm’ is played third rather than as the expected encore. Played early it really sets the tone for the evening with everyone dancing like crazy from here on in. Dancing, and worshipping at the bare feet of front woman Shingai Shoniwa.
Outstretched arms clamber to touch fingertips and shake hands as she struts back and forth across the stage, in between standing on the bass drum to address the crowd and boom out her powerful falsetto or indeed arching her back and draping herself over it completely. Tonight is certainly all about the singer, as the adoring and inspired predominantly female crowd will testify. The set is made up of a mixture of the newer poppier tunes and ballads such as -Never Forget You’ along with the older more rocking numbers which sit perfectly together, with a smattering of cover versions such as The Killers -When You Were Young’ thrown in for good measure.
When the band return to the stage for the much begged for encore they remember their roots and play -Scratch Your Name’, with Shingai on bass and then after prompting the technician to turn all the lights purple they launch into final track of the evening, a cover of T. Rex’s -Children of the Revolution’. Half of which is sung upside-down from a strobe-lit hanging ladder, the other half while Shingai crowd surfs around the venue and makes it back to the stage in time for the last chorus before disappearing with her band in a flurry of glitter and sequins. In a week where their previous headliner Peter Doherty has had to pull out of yet another succession of gigs around the country this is certainly The Noisettes’ moment to shine and they’re definitely taking it.