LIVE: Lights / Cronicle @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, London

By Glen Bushell

The lines between what can be considered pop music, and what some call alternative are incredibly blurred these days. In fact, there may as well not be a line at all. Due to the depth in the song writing, bands like Chvrches, Purity Ring, and Tegan and Sara have crossed over into the alternative market with ease. Someone who has had great success in this world is Canadian multi-instrumentalist, Lights. While her style is distinctly electro-pop, her music resonates with a wider audience.

Tonight, in the small room secreted at the back of the Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, Lights is here to wrap up the touring cycle of her 2014 album, ‘Little Machines’, and begin the next chapter in her story; her forthcoming reimagining of the album, ‘Midnight Machines’. Naturally the excitement for the show, the second of two nights at this venue, is at an all time high from Lights devoted fans, but we will come to that later.

Warming the crowd up tonight is Cronicle, who was added at the last minute to both London shows. Despite being somewhat of an unknown quantity to many of the audience, her sound is befitting of the show, and very well received. Moving between ambient drum ‘n’ bass, and synth-driven electronica, it is concise and enjoyable. Cronicle undoubtedly won over a new audience tonight, and we will surely be seeing more from this home grown talent.

Judging by the deafening scream that greets Lights when she emerges, tonight is really all about her in the minds of the audience. Within seconds, it’s easy to see why. The energy from Lights, and her meticulously tight band is non-stop for the next sixty minutes. The bass-heavy beats of ‘Toes’, and the title track from her 2011 album, ‘Siberia’, are huge this evening, During the electric ‘Same Sea’, the walls of the venue feel like they are on the verge of caving in from the pulsating kick drum.

Over all of this, Lights voice is intoxicating tonight. From the smoother melodies, to glass-shattering highs, she is note-perfect, and incredibly charismatic throughout. When things are stripped back, and her vocal exposed during an acoustic rendition of ‘Meteorites’, and older track ‘Drive My Soul’, it shows her raw talent, and her ability to diversify her sound.

The most charming thing about Lights, is her connection with her fans. She happily receives gifts from those in the first few rows, being handed everything from chocolates to boxed wine. She takes time to interact with as many people as possible, and seems incredibly humbled by those who adore her music. The brief moments she spends sharing jokes with the audience doesn’t hinder the energy of the performance in the slightest. By the time ‘Running With The Boys’, and the euphoria of ‘Up We Go’ are filling the room, Lights still gives it everything she has. It even feels that after a stunning encore of ‘Banner’, both she and the crowd could still keep going.

Tonight almost felt like a scaled down arena show, and even though she is 10 years into her career now, Lights staggering performance shows she can only ascend to greater heights.