10th March 2012.
saw Emilie Autumn bringing her brand of 'violindustrial' music
(industrial with a classical twist) back to Nottingham's Rock
City; the second night of the European leg of a tour promoting
her forthcoming album Fight Like A Girl (F.L.A.G.).
Openly bipolar, Emilie has previously penned the partly-autobiographical
The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls which
describes her experiences with the 'modern' world of psychiatry
and with F.L.A.G. she is tapping the vein further,
by telling the tale of a group of girls who find strength in numbers
whilst being incarcerated in a Victorian asylum.
An Emilie Autumn show is very much that, a show; part concert,
part cabaret, part burlesque, part musical. She is joined on stage
by The Bloody Crumpets (currently comprised of Veronica Varlow,
Captain Maggots and The Blessed Contessa) for a set consisting
of song, dance, poetry and the infamous "Rat Game".
Rather bravely, considering the album hasn't been released yet,
over half of Saturday's set was made up of songs from the forthcoming
album, which the majority of the audience would have been hearing
for the first time - but this didn't dampen their enthusiasm in
any way, despite a number of older favourites (Opheliac
and Dead Is The New Alive spring to
mind) being absent from the set list. There has been some criticism
about the heavy use of backing tracks at an Emilie Autumn gig,
but that may be missing the point. The albums are recorded with
Emilie performing the musical and vocals duties by herself (think
early Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails) and rather than try to
capture this in a live environment, the emphasis is very much
on the spectacular. In fact the new songs showcasing F.L.A.G.
sound like they're part of a musical, new song Girls!
Girls! Girls! especially sounding like it's escaped
from a twisted Disney film.
Saturday's gig saw Rock City seemingly busier than her previous
visit two years ago; her Plague Rats (as her fanatically loyal
fans are called) certainly have been spreading the plague... Emilie
is an artist that people tend to come to by word of mouth. Last
time she visited Nottingham, it seemed the only reason why she
was in the main room at Rock City was because her stage setting
(giant clock, asylum bars, wheelchair, harpsichord) wouldn't fit
on any other stage; this time the size of the audience justified
the main room booking. The auditorium both on and off stage was
awash with hats, corsets, bustles, sequins, ripped and striped
stockings; the fans are as theatrical as the artist on stage.
The night ended with a rousing sing-along of Thank
God I'm Pretty before a bleeding Emilie Autumn headed
off to hospital to get a head cut sustained from a Victorian medical
implement during rehearsal properly seen to.
If you want to catch something a little bit more out of the ordinary,
Emilie Autumn (and The Bloody Crumpets) will be back in the UK
on the 13th and 14th April in London and Manchester respectively.