Words: Emily Ames

Live Images: Benjamin Smith

Contemporary music has become obsessed with perfection in terms of sound. Listen to an Emmy Lou Haris record and you’ll find your brain, accustomed to faultlessness both in live and recorded music, wondering how on earth did that get past the suits? But it’s the imperfections, the natural harmonies and raw emotion of their voices that makes it so wonderful. This is how I felt at the First Aid Kit gig at the Wardrobe.

I have found lately that at gigs we have all started using; “it sounded just like the album,” as a compliment, but why pay for something you can listen too at home. You want something more from a live performance. The Söderburg girls of First Aid Kit brought an intensity, a sense of spontaneity and a realness to their live performance and sound that reminded me of why we go and see live bands.

At first glance, you’d think this country folk band rocked out of the Deep South, both while singing and talking, but they are in fact a Swedish duo touring with their dad as the soundman.  Instead of doing country Taylor Swift style, they bring an ethereal Patti Smith vibe to country, not only in their swaying long haired movements but in their poetic, harrowing lyrics. They even covered “Dancing Barefoot” at the end doing Smith proud. “Richard Dawkins”, “Emmylou”, and “Lions Roar” were excellent while “Wolf” contained an intensity and power making it almost unbelievable that they are 19 and 21 respectively.

To those that criticise them for their overly mature lyrics about lonely housewives and broken marriages, I ask: do we need another tune about “party rocking.” First Aid Kit may be wise beyond their years, but watch them harmonise with emotive raw vocals and you will see that they have captured the essence of the past with beautiful imperfection.

First Aid Kit’s album Lion’s Roar is out now.

For more dates check their website:


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