Event Review: Hiatus Kaiyote

Indie | Friday 12th July 2013 | Abby

Wow... Just, wow! Last night was one that I personally will never forget, because live at the XOYO in Shoreditch played two eclectic and absolutely captivating acts that set the place on fire – with a manic roaring crowd and an intensely passionate atmosphere. It was an experience that I had never heard before.

The XOYO in Shoreditch hosted a night that brought to the fore two mesmerizing acts that sent the crowd wild. Just like any concert you attend, you expect a good night, right? That is the same as last night. After interviewing Hiatus Kaiyote last week, I was certainly excited to see their performance, but I did not expect it to go just as it did. The doors opened at 8pm and people slowly made their way through the venue, down stairs to the stage.  

Everyone talked, danced to the DJ’s set, and got some drinks while waiting for the support act - good vibes were lingering. Andrew Ashong was the support act for the evening, and with him was a female back-up singer, Desta. Walking on stage there were already fans that were very enthusiastic. Playing his first official show, Ashong was excited, but it seemed when he opened his mouth to sing or talk to the crowd, it felt like he had been performing for years and was evidently comfortable. Admittedly, I had not heard of Ashong before, but let me tell you, I have jumped onto the ‘Andrew Ashong Fan Band-Wagon’, for not only was I mesmerised by the gorgeous voice that was sultry and gripping, his cool and calm demeanour, but listening to his tracks sent me straight to a state of happiness. I was not the only one as the crowd, which was gradually growing, were feeling the music too, and there was not one face in the room that wasn’t smiling. Ashong was accompanied by his back-up singer, Desta. However, it feels like an understatement calling her a back-up singer, because she had brought to the stage yet another beautiful voice; a voice that sang like it was coming from an angel. This woman was beautiful; she had obviously captured the hearts of the crowd, because when Ashong had introduced her, everyone was cheering her on – as was Ashong, himself. Ashong’s set was wonderful, as he engaged with the crowd and delivered his tracks with soul and passion. Enjoy Andrew Ashong's wonderfully composed track 'The Way She Moves' here:


It wasn’t until the supporting act had left the stage that I noticed that the XOYO was packed out. There was hardly any space to breathe, but everyone attempted to shuffle as close to the stage as they could get. A presenter came on stage to welcome the headlining acts, and the crowd yelled, whistled and  whooed Melbourne’s Hiatus Kaiyote onto the stage. All members approached the stage with the biggest smiles on their faces, and looking ready to conquer London. It seemed that the band hadn’t anticipated such a wildly fervent and eager crowd! With the first beat of the drum, the strum of the guitar, the pluck of the bass, and the soulful keys of the keyboard broke out, the crowd moved like there was no tomorrow. There were die-hard fans throughout the venue, countless attendees were singing every lyric that frontwoman, Nai Palm, sung out. The performance was phenomenal, poignant, and awe-inspiring, and the crowd – well, let me just say – it felt like we were in a hip-hop club, with vibes to untamed and so intense. I distinctly remember a man about 6 foot jumping waving his arms (and alcohol) around like he couldn’t control his body, he bellowed out sounds of praise and sang every word, but then again, he was not the only one, because everyone seemed like they couldn’t control their movements. Everybody, and I mean everybody, moved to the vocals and instrumentals of Hiatus Kaiyote. The vocals were absolutely gorgeous, with every note sung with such beauty and each lyric was passionately delivered, whilst she strummed her orange guitar. The bass never sounded so good, as it brought depth to each track performed, and the keyboard was intimidating, as the keyboardist played as poignantly as Ray Charles, proving his unique talent. The charming drummer was lost in his own world as he blasted his instruments, incorporating the cow bell at times, he fastened and slowed the pace, leading the band to musical success. Each member of the band were given the opportunity to give a little solo, and it really showed how each member is gifted with a strong harmonious talent. Playing collectively, it felt like the band was made for each other, they worked off each other’s vibe, while they continually glanced at each other and around the room and smiled with the upmost happiness. The set list brought all the great tracks of Hiatus Kaiyote and it pleased everyone. The wonderful fusion of genres that the band generates a sound even better live! What a night it was for the band: definitely a moment to be proud of and one to remember. Leaving the stage, the crowd stomped the floor, making a deafening cry for the band to come back, and they did. Performing their sensual and enchanting track ‘Lace Skull’ that intoxicated the crowd for the last time that evening. Let's enjoy 'Lace Skull' together, right here:


It is unfortunate the night had to end, but fortunately for London, Hiatus Kaiyote will be back performing at the Underground Village on 18th November, so make sure you get your tickets before they all sell out. Click here to get your ticket. Also, if you want to know more about Hiatus Kaiyote, keep an eye on Guestlist, because we have an exclusive interview and acoustic performance of the band’s newest track ‘Underwater’!


Written By Abby D @AbbyDonkin